Saturday, October 13, 2007

Military Junta Forces People to March , Or Else

Source: CNN

Ma Nilar Thein, one of the 88-generation student leaders, told CNN that many people living in the outskirts of Rangoon were forced to march in this morning's pro-government rally, or face steep fines.

For the full report, please click here.

1. While CNN said that it cannot independently verify the news, there have already been similar reports about people being coerced to participate in government rallies during Mr Ibrahim Gambari's visit to Burma.
2. Ma Nilar Thein has been in the news last month for being forced to go into hiding for her involvement in demonstrations. As her husband is currently being detained as well, the couple's 4 month old daughter has been being looked after by her grandmother.

Kyaw Thu Blackmailed by Junta to Turn Himself In


Earlier this week, it was reported that Film Star Kyaw Thu and wife have been arrested by Junta. This puzzled many observers as they have been known to be in hiding since the crackdown began. There were even rumours that they have reached the Thai-Burmese border.

However, Myochitmyanmar today reported that Kyaw Thu was forced to turn himself in after officials took his 80-year-old father into custody.

His family was reportedly told:
"Tell him that if he wants to see his father alive, he'd better turn himself in. We will not be responsible for the consequences (if he doesn't)."

Myochitmyanmar last spoke to Kyaw Thu just before he went into hiding. He was reported to have said:
"It's great (what you're doing). Please continue to fight. So will I."

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Political Prisoners Subjected to Worse Treatment

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

12th October 2007

Security has been stepped up in Insein Prison in Rangoon, where most political prisoners are held, after UN called for the release of political prisoners. Stricter non-security related rules have also been imposed.

A family member of one of the prisoners told DVB, after a visit to the prison, that the prisoners are now no longer allowed to take their walks, or talk to their neighbours.

"In the past, they were allowed to do some exercise, and also allowed to take a leisurely bath. Now their bath time has been restricted, and they are not taken out of their cells. They're also not allowed to talk among themselves."

Each prisoner is held in a seperate cell only measuring 8 by 8 feet. Families have expressed concerns that such undue restrictions will affect the health of the prisoners adversely.

U Bo Kyi, co-secretary general of Thai-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), told DVB that whenever there was any political crisis, it was common for the political prisoners to be subjected to such ill treatement.

"Right now, they are being subjected to even more rights abuse when, in fact, these prisoners have nothing whatsoever to do with the protests; they have been detained for so many years. It is an act of vengeance to impose further restrictions on these prisoners."

According to AAPP(B), more than 200 political prisoners have died in custody in Burmese prisons due to poor conditions and lack of proper healthcare.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Myanmar Rejects UN Call for Negotiations

Source: Associated Press

Following the statement issued by UNSC, unanimously approved by all its 15 members including China, for Burma's ruling Junta to stop its heavy handed approach towards its people, Junta has declined to follow UN's call for negotiation with the opposition.

Please click here for the full report.

Protesters Using Dogs To Show Their Dissent Towards Junta

Source: Irrawaddy (via

In the face of violent crackdowns, people in Rangoon have found an ingenious way to show their dissent towards Junta; by using dogs.

According to Irrawaddy news, packs of dogs wearing pictures of Junta's top generals, including Gen Than Shwe, have been seen in crowded locations.

A resident of Rangoon told Irrawady that the pictures have even been laminated, and no one as yet knows who is behind them. He added that there was a commotion when the officials tried to catch the dogs.

The packs of dogs with pictures have been seen in 5 townships in Rangoon.

Irrawaddy noted that such actions have been taken by students after the crackdowns on 1996 student movement.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Update from Burmese Blogs: 12th October 2007


1529 hrs
The burmese public urged its fellow citizens based in foreign countries to honour those who have sacrificed their lives by boycotting the Burmese embassies, and refraining from transactions such as paying tax.

[Note: All burmese citizens who work abroad are required to pay double tax; they will not be allowed to renew their passport otherwise. In order to circumvent non-double taxation agreements signed with countries such as Singapore, the burmese people are coerced to sign documents stating that their contribution is voluntary.]

1519 hrs
Yangon City Development Council gave out cash rewards of 10 million kyats (1400 Kyat = 1 USD) each to pro-junta thugs who were involved in the brutal crackdown of protesters. 68 of their leaders received a plot of land each in addition to the cash reward.

1458 hrs
Missing people reports are still coming in with families not knowing if their loved ones have been detained or killed in the crackdown.

1000 hrs
Cartier and Tiffany boycott Burmese gems

0953 hrs
Report by Reuters on the inhumane treatment of detained monks

0856 hrs
According to Niknayman, the public has started their boycott against businesses owned by Gen Than Shwe and his son-in-law Tayza. This includes JDonut, a popular fast food joint. It is reported that a list of companies associated with Junta will be compiled and such businesses will also be boycotted.

Junta Arrests Mother and In-Law of Protester

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

11th October 2007

The mother and mother-in-law of a lady wanted by Junta for helping the protesting monks were detained when she managed to escape their clutches.

DVB managed contact with the lady, Daw Thet Thet Aung, who said:
"My husband and I were in a hair saloon on the 8th. A few men came in and locked the door, saying they wanted to ask us questions. I told them they could ask me at home, and I forced my way through. My husband followed me out, but they stopped him and took him away. The next day, they searched my home and my aunt's home, and confiscated my documents. When they couldn't find me, they told my family that I was wanted for questioning. The day after, on the 10th, they arrested my mother (54 years old) and my mother-in-law (70 years old). I heard that they'll only be released when I turn myself in."

Daw Thet Thet Aung, who has since been forced to go into hiding, added that she was anxious about her 3 young children, the youngest of whom is only 15 months old and in ill health.

She told DVB that she felt it an extreme injustice to be hunted and blackmailed in this manner. She added that the world and Mr Gambari (UN envoy) will not be aware of such lawless acts carried out by Junta as on the surface, the military leaders have been making declarations that they welcome dialogue and reforms.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Gen Soe Win Dies

Source: BBC

Following false reports earlier this month that Gen Soe Win has died, State Media announced his passing today after a long illness.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Junta Continues to Make Unfair Arrests

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Among those detained since last month is an 85-year-old Parliamentary member from the opposition, U Pu Htwe, who was arrested at 3am on the 26th of September. A family member said that while they have been allowed to send medication and food, they have not been allowed to see him.

Another Parliamentary member, U Than Lwin, has also been detained after the authorities took him away for questioning. According to his daughter, he was told that he was not being detained. However, the family has not heard from him since and they have no idea where he is being held.

Meanwhile, four of his family members have been sentenced to 5 years in prison for defying the authorities. Following the sentencing on the 5th of October, they were immediately sent to Mandalay prison.

Ma Khin Mar Lwin, daughter of U Than Lwin, told DVB: “They told us we will not be sentenced yet. So we thought we could have a fair trial. But when we reached the court, they just closed the doors, and told us we were being sentenced right there and then. There were a lot of police, many of them carrying weapons. I was locked out just it started. My siblings were immediately taken away. I could only pack the necessities for them.”

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

News Updates from Democratic Voice of Burma - 11th October 2007

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Just as the international community condemned the death of Ko Win Shwe while in custody, DVB received news that another man detained in the GTI compound has died. The man has been identified as 48 year old U Than Aung.

According to a detainee who has since been released, U Than Aung sustained severe injuries during the crackdown on 27th September and passed away in custody after he was refused medical treatment.

Three more unidentified people have also died. All 3 were involved in peaceful demonstrations in Rangoon on the 27th of September. Two died at the scene of protests, City Hall, and another died while in custody in KyaiKaSan Race Course.

DVB reports that there are currently 4 places being used as detention centres. They are: GTI compound and BPI Pharmaceutical Building in Insein, KyaiKaSan Race Course and Insein Main Prison 1.

Meanwhile, arrests continue in Rangoon and Mandalay. This wave of arrests is targeted at university students and student leaders. In Mandalay, following the protests on motorbikes early this month, youths on motorbikes are now primary targets of officials.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Residents Blame Crackdown fro Crime Rise in Mandalay

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

10th October 2007

Security forces have stepped up arrests of people in Mandalay for curfew violations, amid an increase in the local crime rate blamed by residents on the recent crackdowns on anti-government demonstrations.

For the full report, please follow this link:

MAI Cancels Flights Due to Lack of Planes

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

10th October 2007

Regarding the news that MAI has cancelled its flights to Bangkok, DVB has a more comprehensive report.

According to DVB, MAI has had to cancel its flights as it does not have enough planes to continue operating. The board of directors are apparently still deliberating over the issue and hence, no official announcement has been made over the cancellation of flights.

A ticket agent said:

“We know that the flights will be cancelled from tomorrow onwards. They (MAI) will transfer the passengers to TG (Thai Airway) flights. I think they will resume operations soon. But we don’t know for sure yet. We only received the news today. We’ll have more info tomorrow.”

According to DVB, MAI and Thai Airways have a codeshare agreement in place. MAI also has similar agreements with Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Jetstar Airways.

Currently, MAI has three planes (a Boeing 707-800 and two McDonnell Douglas MD82) which it uses to ply between Rangoon and Southeast Asian cities of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

MAI is co-owned by junta which holds a 40% stake. Its two other shareholders are Hongkong-based Region Air Myanmar (HK) Pte Ltd (49%) and a privately-owned Zen Company (11%).

Many tourists have cancelled their travel plans to Burma since the brutal crackdown started on the peaceful demonstrators in the last week of September. Typically, tourists make up 40% of the passengers traveling from Bangkok to Rangoon on flights run by MAI, Air Asia, Air Mandalay and Air Bagan, according to industry sources, who said they now see no tourists on board these flights.

There are rumours that junta is intending to increase its stakes in MAI and that Air Bagan boss, Tayza (the son-in-law of Gen Than Shwe), is also preparing to take over some of its shares.

There are also unconfirmed news that the company renting the planes to MAI have refused to continue the lease of the planes after the crackdown last month.

For the full article in Burmese, please follow this link:

MAI Terminates Bangkok-Rangoon Flights


Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has terminated its flights to Bangkok until further notice. Affected passengers will be transferred to Thai Airways flights.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Updates from Burmese Blogs: 11th October


0355: Niknayman reported that as of 11th October, all Burmese Airlines will not be allowed to land at airports in Singapore and Malaysia.

0000: A youth was shot in the chest during the peaceful demonstrations last week

Kyaw Thu and Wife Arrested in Rangoon

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Actor-turned-activist Kyaw Thu and wife were arrested in Rangoon yesterday by Military Intelligence personnel, according to sources in the entertainment industry. DVB was not able to establish phone contact with the family in order to verify the news.

Kyaw Thu has been previously on the run after attracting the junta’s attention for blatantly showing his support to the monks who participated in last month’s peaceful demonstrations. On the 25th and 26th of September, despite repeated threats by Junta aimed at protesters, he offered food and drinks to protesting monks, along with comedian ZaGarNar, another well-known activist. ZaGarNar was subsequently taken into custody on the night of the 25th.

In a note of encouragement to other civilians who have been supporting the monks, Kyaw Thu had earlier said:

“As Buddhists, by respecting monks, we’re showing our devotion to our religion. We should follow the teachings of Buddha, and not be afraid of threats by Junta.”

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Diplomat Resigns Over Burmese Monks

Source: BBC

Kudos to U Ye Min Tun, a staff of the Burmese Embassy in London, for tendering his resignation, and proving himself to be a ‘good buddhist’.

Please click here to read the full story:





Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gun Shots in Mandalay

It is confirmed that there has been a few anonymous gun shots aimed at the Chinese embassy(KaunSitWonYone) in Mandalay. No one was hurt by the shots and it is clear that the purpose was just to show defiance against the Burmese and Chinese governments. It is reported that most of the Chinese-Burmese shops/businesses in Mandalay have their sign boards that are written in Chinese down. It is possible that these shots are made by the cease-fire agreed armed groups though it is not confirmed.

All other info are confirmed and further updates will be made.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Family of Poet in Trouble

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

The wife of a poet on the run, Ko Nyein Thit, was taken away by the officials when they came to arrest Ko Nyein Thit, and was unable to find him. This leaves only the couple's three young children at home.

Ko Nyein Thit has been on the run since 30th of September.

Sources close to the family said the family is in severe financial difficulties.

[Flaming Peacocks: There are many such instances of unfair arrests by Junta, and this story merely highlights one of them.]

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Monks Respond to Junta's Accusation

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Last week, the staten-run newspaper, New Light of Myanmar, accused fake monks of instigating unrests and alleged that in carrying out raids to the monasteries to arrest these fake monks, security forces unconvered inappropriate items usch as women's clothing, condoms, and pornographic materials. These accusations enraged the people of Burma.

In a second report by DVB, a monk responds.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Detained Youths Die From Injuries

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Two of the youths detained at the City Hall after the protests last month have died from injuries inflicted by security forces during their arrests, said a man who was similarly detained but managed to secure his release. Their identities remain unknown.

According to the man, the troops responsible are from Light Infantry Division Battalion 66. He added that the watches and accessories on the bodies of the two men were kept by the troops, and the bodies were seen being taken away at about 11pm on the night of 29th September.

He told DVB that all detainees were made to surrender their personal belongings to the troops.

Similarly, another unidentified youth also died at the hands of the troops at KyaiKaSan Race Course on the 29th of September. According to a witness, his body was also taken away by the troops from LID Battalion 66.  

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Detainees Moved from GTI Compound

Source: Democtatic Voice of Burma

Detainees in GTI are being moved out of the compound, eyewitnesses said. It is not known where they are being taken to.

Eyewitnesses told DVB that on the 3rd of October, at about 11pm, 8 army trucks were seen leaving the compound. Sources close to the guard troops said that the detainees taken away in the trucks were monks and students awaiting trial for participating in the peaceful demonstrations last month. They added that majority were monks.

Another batch was moved during the night on the 5th of October.

A source who did not want to be named told DVB that these detainees have been given prison sentences and were being transferred out to serve their terms.

Junta Bars Foreigners from Entering Burma

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

According to an unnamed source close to the Singapore Burmese Embassy, Junta has instructed its embassies not to issue any visas to foreigners.

The source added that this ban will remain in effect until end of December.

While DVB is still trying to verify this information, a hotel owner in Mandalay also confirmed that it was true. The owner added that hotels and travel operators in Rangoon, Mandalay, and Bagan were facing difficulties due to the shortfall of tourists. Also, the bigger players, he said, were being forced to retrench staff.<

While the reasons for the visa ban are not clear, it is speculated that it might be spurred on by the boycott of Bagan Airways by both local and foreign travelers. Bagan Airways is owned by Tayza, the son-in-law of Gen Than Shwe.

A veteran politician noted that the visa ban might be to prevent international activists from entering Burma.

In an interview with DVB, a staff from a hotel said that while there were rumours about the visa ban, there were no official statements from the authorities.

Some travelers from Rangoon said that they were only able to buy outbound tickets. Some of the inbound flights were cancelled due to lack of bookings.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Troops Ask Families of Detainees to Pay to Free Their Loved Ones

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

7th October 2007

Families of detainees were reportedly approached by soldiers from Light Infantry Division Battalion 66, with offers that they would release their family members for fees ranging from 50,000 Kyats to 100,000 kyats. At current exchange rates, this translates to about USD 37 to USD 74.

[Note: A statement released by the US government in June 2007 noted that the majority of Burmese citizens subsist on an average annual income of less than USD 200 per capita. Source: US Department of State]

While one family member said that the payout had to be made to the Defense Administration stationed at City Hall, other families told DVB that they did not make the payment since they did not believe the offer was made in good faith.

Majority of the families rebuffed the offer as they felt their family members were being unfairly detained.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Monasteries in Sitwe Empty

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

7th October 2007

Residents of Sitwe, Arakan State, told DVB that most of the monasteries in Sitwe are empty, and many buddhist institutes that used to have over 200 student monks are left with barely 10 monks.

This follows last week's demonstrations in Sitwe by monks after which religious officials told the student monks to return to their hometowns.

One resident said:
"There used to be 28 monks who would come to my house for alms. Now there're only 3."

Town officials issued official letters to the monks to return home, said a local source. The source added that some of these monks were arrested on their way back.

[Fighting Peacocks: Unconfirmed reports were received that some student monks from Mandalay, who were similarly told to leave, never made it back to their hometowns, and have gone missing.]

It was reported that about 1pm yesterday afternoon, a monk walking past a pagoda was arrested by security forces, who reportedly told the monk that he was not supposed to be there.

A resident said that about 60 demonstrators have been detained. It is not known where they are being held.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Journalists Face Professional Difficulties As Junta Confiscates All Cameras

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Journalists have been made virtually jobless as the insecure junta ordered its forces to tighten security checks on all persons found carrying cameras, and subsequently confiscating them. As a result, these journalists have been facing financial difficulties.

A photojournalist told DVB:
"A soldier needs his gun. We need our cameras. Taking our cameras away is akin to giving us death sentences."

In addition, some of the reporters have had their mobile phones cut off.

The vice-president of Journalists' Association, U Zaw Lin, told DVB, that not only has the junta shown disrespect to human rights of the people, they are treating journalists as enemies.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Monks Return to Burma to Continue Protest

Source: Voice of America

VOA's Luiz Ramiraz spoke to the monks at the thai-burmese border who told him they intend to return to Burma to continue with the protests despite having suffered at the hands of junta.

For the full report, please follow this link:

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