Friday, October 23, 2009
Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Burma’s rebel group, said they are willing to abandon arms struggle provided the ruling junta guarantees equal rights to both ethnics and Burmans agreed in the historic Panlong agreement.KIO Secretary Dr. La Ja said the KIO had informed their stand to the junta’s Supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe in a letter sent to him in September. The letter states that if the junta accepts the Panlong Agreement and is willing to uphold, the KIO is ready to abandon arms struggle, in which case it will not be necessary to transform its armed wing into the ‘Border Guard Force’ proposed by the regime. “We are bringing up the Panlong Agreement again because we have to reconsider about the ‘Union’ of Burma. If there is a ‘Union’, we must recognize the ‘Union’ because the ‘Union’ emerged from the ‘Panlong’ Agreement,” Dr. La Ja told Mizzima from the KIO headquarters in Laiza in Kachin State. “The letter was sent for understanding and consideration, not for talks. We cannot say yet if they will respond and how so. It’s up to them,” he added. The architect of Burma’s independence General Aung San and leaders of ethnic Kachin, Chin and Shan gathered in Panlong town of Shan State and signed the historic ‘Panlong Agreement’, which guaranteed equal rights for all ethnic nationalities on 12 February 1947. While the KIO is emphasizing on equal rights, the Thailand-based Kachin News Group (KNG) said, the Kachin Independence Army’s 4th brigade based in Lao Kai region of Northern Shan State is being pressurized by the regime to divide its troops into three small groups or leave their area. However, Dr. La Ja denied of the information. “We have not been informed. We have not received any letter regarding withdrawal of the 4th Brigade from the area. There is no problem for the 4th Brigade,” he said, adding that there are no tensions amounting between the KIO and the regime in recent days. While the regime has set October as the deadline for all ceasefire groups to transform their armies into the Border Guard Force (BGF), KIO along with several other groups have rejected the proposed but offered another proposal of transforming into a ‘Kachin Regional Guard Force’ (KRGF). “We will wait and see how they respond to our counter proposal. We expect a positive response from the regime. We told them that we accepted transformation and transition but we have to seek a solution peacefully and amicably,” Dr. La Ja said, adding that the KIO do not like to solve the problem militarily. Though the KIO and other ceasefire groups are under pressure for transformation, several KIO leaders have withdrawn their membership from the group to prepare for candidacy in the 2010 election. In early September, six KIO high-ranking officials including Dr. Mana Tu Ja, vice-president (2) of the KIO, announced their resignation from the armed group in order to prepare and form the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP), to be contesting in the 2010 elections. Meanwhile, the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), another Kachin ceasefire armed group, has accepted the junta’s offer of transforming their army into the BGF.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
US embassy in Rangoon is in touch with lawyers to defend its detained citizen, Aung Kyaw Zaw, arrested on arrival in the former Burmese capital’s international airport on September 3. Kyi Win, a high court advocate, on Friday said he was contacted by the US embassy to defend Aung Kyaw Zaw or better known Nyi Nyi Aung, detained in Rangoon Insein prison.“The embassy contacted us to defend him and offered us a fee equivalent to the amount paid to the lawyer they had hired for John William Yettaw. we said we are willing to provide ‘Pro Bono’ free of charge service,” Kyi Win said. Kyi Win said the embassy had contacted him and his colleague Nyan Win, with whom he teamed up to defend detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to take up Nyi Nyi Aung’s case.Both Kyi Win and Nyan Win are advocates practicing in the high court.“I don’t know if Nyi Nyi Aung has been charged yet. I am yet to receive a reply from the embassy,” Kyi Win said. On nature of charges Nyi Nyi Aung jailed , a report in the state-run media the New Light of Myanmar newspaper last week accused Nyi Nyi Aung of trying to instigate civil unrest in cahoots with underground activists inside Burma.A report accused Nyi Nyi Aung of working together with several Burmese organizations in exile including the Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB), the Student and Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB) and alleged that he had provided financial assistance to activists inside the country.Nyi Nyi Aung was a student activist and was involved in the 1988 student-led uprising. He along with several other students fled to Thailand in the wake of the military crackdown on protesters. Later he was resettled in United States from Thailand and was naturalized as a US citizen. Nyi Nyi Aung holds a valid US passport and had a legal social visit Visa to Burma. He flew from Bangkok to Rangoon on September 3 on a TG flight. Nyi Nyi Aung was taken to several interrogation centres, where he allegedly endured torture. He was finally taken to the Insein prison.US embassy spokesman said, Nyi Nyi Aung had complained of ill-treatment during their meeting.Agencies reports. Author: Naresh Sagar e-mail Web: www.nksagar.com Phone: 9810974027
Friday, October 2, 2009
Divisional court in Rangoon on Friday rejected the appeal of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, upholding a lower court’s decision that sentenced her to yet another period of detention. Aung San Suu Kyi, General-Secretary of Burma’s main opposition party – National League for Democracy – was sentenced to three years in August by the northern district court in Rangoon’s Insein prison – though the period of detention was later halved by special order from Senior General Than Shwe.“The court said it upholds the decision of the district court but decided that the 1974 constitution is no longer in effect. It is very absurd,” a source, with access to the court, told Mizzima.Aung San Suu Kyi, who was charged for breaching her previous terms of detention by ‘harboring’ American John William Yettaw, who swam across a lake and entered into her house in early May, was sentenced by the district court under the 1974 constitution, which defense attorneys argued is no longer in effect. “It is good that the court acknowledged today that the 1974 constitution is no longer in effect, but it is absurd that the court upholds the verdict of the district court, which is based on that constitution,” the source extrapolated. Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said they are ready to file another appeal with the Supreme Court if the divisional court upheld the lower court’s decision.
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