ZUF militant arrested in Manipur

Security Forces (SFs) arrested a Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) militant, identified as Johnson Kamei (33), at Langol Games Village in Imphal West District on April 4, reports E-Pao. According to the SFs, the arrested militant was involved in several extortion cases.

Meanwhile, State Home Department, on April 3, wrote to the Union Ministry of External Affairs (UMHA) about the recent encroachment into Indian Territory (Holenphai village of Tengnoupal District) by Myanmar army and to intervene and take necessary steps to stop cross border activities, reports Nagaland Post. According to the report Myanmar Army intruded into Holenphai village on March 4 last and vandalized a saw mill. Manipur based NGOs who conducted spot visits at the border village after the recent incidents alleged that the Myanmar Army was continuing its activities on the Indian side.

Wanted: Reform that Benefits Karen Citizens

By SAW YAN NAING 31 March 2017

Burma’s longest running ethnic armed organization, the Karen National Union (KNU), began its struggle with a clear political purpose. It was starting a “revolution,” and under revolutionary circumstances, all members were required to serve for free, and even sacrifice their lives if called upon.

More than six decades later, the KNU’s revolution is no longer looking so black and white.

The KNU today is of course not an official government, but it has many of the characteristics of one, with an army (which is believed to receive the lion’s share of its budget), and active—if relatively ill-funded—departments for health, education, the economy, forestry and others.

To fund itself, the KNU collects taxes from civilians and traders in the territory under its control, with the income contributing the most to its finances.

Since its beginnings in the 1940s, the KNU has retained a definite legitimacy—one whose exact extent is hard to quantify—among some, or even many, in the Karen community.

Throughout, it has also suffered successive losses, if never outright defeat, over many generations at the hands of the Burma Army.

The losses over long years of countless battles—of people, financial resources and territory—have been many.

Karen leaders have sacrificed their time and family life. Leaders of the armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), have lived in conditions of poverty and danger to devote their lives to the cause of Karen freedom.

The toll of all the conflicts on the affected communities has been incalculable.

It is also true that the KNU leadership enjoyed a strong relationship with the Thai authorities throughout the era of its charismatic, late chief Gen Bo Mya.

Liberties afforded to the KNU’s top brass even spread to people with KNU-approved travel documents, who were allowed to visit some towns inside Thailand.

Now some KNU leaders and their families are based in northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai provinces, and in border towns such as Mae Sot, in Tak Province.

Some own land, houses, luxury cars, and businesses, wealth that at times allegedly overshadows the possessions of their Thai neighbors. Others own assets through proxies, it is widely rumored. The children of some families are educated in Thai universities and abroad, and there are opportunities for some to gain permanent residency in Thailand.

It has been alleged, though not proven, that some leaders connected with foreign donors have been able to buy land and property with money earned through manipulating differences in currency exchange rates. Concerns have been expressed that cash donations from the Karen diaspora have been misused.

It needs to be said that it seems likely that the relative wealth of some Karen leaders does not compare with the kind of enormous, ill-gotten riches amassed by many other leaders and players in Burma’s long-running wars.

But in Karen terms, the gap that has arisen between the personal situations of the leaders and that of their followers is significant and has given rise to considerable resentment, and to the raising of questions on the matter.

Before the KNU suffered one of its biggest defeats—the fall of its former base in Manerplaw in 1995 at the hands of the breakaway faction then called the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army—the KNU’s main revenue came from logging and tax on cross-border trade.

After the disastrous split, the splinter group took over much of the income-stream of these sources, as well as new streams of income from illicit drug sales, and began trading in goods from Thailand such as cars.

Other breakaway groups that arose amid Karen disunity, such as the KNU/KNLA Peace Council and the Karen Border Guard Force also became involved in business ventures.

After the KNU signed a bilateral ceasefire in 2012, it increased its business interests. These now include transportation and tourism—the KNU is behind the Moe Ko San Tour and Travel Company Ltd in Myawaddy town, and is said to have involvements in gold and tin mining. It reportedly owns a casino in Myawaddy town.

It held a signing ceremony in December last year for an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Sun and Rainbow Company Ltd which is involved in real estate and development projects, and Power China International Group in Dawei, Tenasserim Division.

Critics within the KNU have targeted the organization’s handling of its budget, saying the process is muddled and there is a lack of transparency in how funds are distributed. Corruption, bribery, and misuse of finances have been alleged.

There have been complaints from soldiers that they are sometimes not paid, being told instead that since they are part of a revolutionary organization they should contribute their services for free, for the sake of the cause.

A high-ranking KNU official who asked for anonymity said, “If I was chairman of the KNU, I would declare a new policy that seized all properties in Thailand belonging to KNU leaders and their families. Or, I would demand they share half of the profit they make from their businesses.”

Meanwhile, the main improvements under the current leadership for civilians in conflict-torn Karen areas have been more freedom of movement and better communications over the last few years, according to sources on the ground.

These signs of progress are not nothing for people who have spent generations suffering in conflict zones. But they can’t be said to amount to a huge gain in the quality of life of ordinary Karen yet, either.

Such small improvements arguably pale in comparison to the benefits that some of the organization’s leaders and officials have accumulated in Burma and Thailand. The gap suggests that there is a need for major reform which works for everybody in the KNU’s territories. That sort of reform should be on the agenda during the organization’s on-going congress.

Topics: Conflict, Ethnic Issues, Karen National Union (KNU), Thailand

Saw Yan Naing
source irrawaddy

Assam: Three militants killed in fire battle; Nexus amongst terrorist outfits in NE revealed: Army sources

In a major breakthrough, three hardcore Kuki-based militants were killed in an encounter with the Army on the wee hours of April 2.

According to Defence PRO, three hard-core terrorists were neutralised in an intense fire-fight by troops of Red Horns Division of Gajraj Corps in East Karbi Anglong district on Sunday.

Based on a specific intelligence input regarding presence of armed terrorists in Kuki dominated hinterland in East Karbi Anglong district, troops launched an operation on the night of 01 Apr 2017.

In the wee hours of 02 Apr 2017, as the Army team was closing in on to the suspected house, armed terrorists opened indiscriminate fire. Own troops opened controlled retaliatory fire and the firefight lasted for almost twenty minutes.
Two terrorists were killed in the firefight and one terrorist was found in a severely injured condition. The injured terrorist was provided first-aid; however, he succumbed to his injuries while being evacuated.

A large amount of arms, ammunition and war like stores were recovered during the operation. One M-16 rifle, one 7.62 mm rifle, two hand grenades and large quantity of live ammunition were recovered. Combat uniforms, ammunition pouches, blankets and rations were also found on the site.
Army sources have confirmed that some of the killed terrorists belonged to Manipur exposing the nexus amongst the terrorist outfits in North Eastern region.

The successful operation resulting in neutralisation of three terrorists has brought a huge relief to the local populace.
image”new nations online

রান ডায়লগ বক্সে কমান্ডটি লিখে এন্টার করতে হবে।

দিন দিন উইন্ডোজ অপারেটিং সিস্টেমের রান প্রোগ্রামের ব্যবহার কমছে। তবু ব্যবহার করতে চাইলে এখানে প্রয়োজনীয় ১০টি রান শর্টকাট কমান্ড দেওয়া হলো। রান ডায়লগ বক্সে কমান্ডটি লিখে এন্টার করতে হবে।

* ক্যালকুলেটরের জন্য কমান্ড হলো—calc

* অন স্ক্রিন কি-বোর্ডের সচল করার জন্য কমান্ড—osk

* ডেট অ্যান্ড টাইম ডায়ালগ বক্স চালু করার কমান্ড—timedate.cpl

* ডাইরেক্ট এক্স ডায়াগনস্টিক টুল দেখার জন্য—dxdiag

* সিস্টেম কনফিগারেশন ইউটিলিটি ডায়ালগ বক্স ওপেন করার জন্য—msconfig

* গ্রুপ পলিসি এডিটর ডায়ালগ বক্স দেখার জন্য—gpedit.msc

* মাইক্রোসফট পেইন্ট ডায়ালগ বক্স সচল করতে—mspaint

* উইন্ডোজ ফায়ারওয়াল সচল করতে—firewall.cpl

* ইভেন্ট ভিউয়ার ডায়ালগ বক্স সচল করতে—eventvwr.msc

* রিমোট ডেস্কটপ সচল করতে—mstsc

Village administrator killed in Buthidaung after speaking to media contingent

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

MAUNGDAW, Rakhine State — A Rohingya village official in Buthidaung Township was murdered late on Friday night after speaking to a media delegation visiting strife-torn Rakhine State about militants operating in the area.

Hamid Ullah, the assistant administrator of Tin May village, met with media on Wednesday and told them he was concerned for his safety after providing Maungdaw District administrators with information about militant training camps in the area.

“I have not been provided any security while I have been receiving threats,” he told reporters last week, during a press tour organised by the Information Ministry and attended by Frontier. “I had to hire a security guard for myself.”

Two days later, a group of masked men entered Hamid Ullah’s house and slit his throat while he was sleeping, according to a statement by district security officers.

The incident marks at least the second time a civilian member of the population has been killed after speaking to the media since the beginning of a security crackdown in Rakhine last October.

A Muslim man from Ngakhura village was found dead after disappearing on December 21, one day after speaking to a similar ministry press tour.

Reporters who participated in last month’s delegation have called on local police commands and the Ministry of Information to take more responsibility for the safety of villagers speaking to the media in the region.

“Nothing matters more than a man’s life,” said U Sithu Aung Myint, a columnist for several local news outlets, including Frontier, who was present on both media trips. “I wouldn’t report the news if it meant risking a man’s life. The people who are responsible for these arrangements need to make sure such incidents don’t happen again.”

According to a government statement last month, a total of 31 local residents had been killed or disappeared in Maungdaw District since the insurgent attack on police and border guard posts in October.

The United Nations has estimated that around 75,000 people fled across the border in the wake of the subsequent crackdown by security forces, while a February report from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that hundreds had likely been killed in the ensuing violence.

The communist victory in China in 1949 sent thousands of nationalist Kuomintang troops and their families fleeing into Shan State. Their stories of the war in the hills live on with relatives in Taiwan and Myanmar.

By ANN WANG | FRONTIER

Mr Chang Lao Wang was seven years old when he first saw fighting in the guerilla war against invading Chinese nationalist troops in Shan State between 1949 to 1953.

“I remember seeing a lot of kids who were left behind in the forest by their family that was trying to keep up with the troops. I was determined not to be separated from my mother; I tied a rope between us,” recalled Chang. He remembered not only children left behind; many troops died or disappeared in the jungle between Burma and China.

“They were the worst years of my life,” Chang, 76, told Frontier at his Yunnanese noodle shop decorated with Taiwanese flags at Zhongyi District, in Taoyuan City, northern Taiwan.

He was born in 1942, at Zhenkang County in China’s Yunnan Province, on the border with Myanmar’s Kokang region in Shan State. His father joined the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang, or Yunnan Anti-communist National Salvation Army, to fight in the war against the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army that was convulsing China.
“I remember the situation got really bad back home; it was [a choice] between getting killed by the communists or pack our things and go find my father at the frontline in Burma,” Chang said.

The PLA entered Yunnan in December 1949, only months after Chairman Mao had declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. KMT troops responded by crossing into Myanmar in their thousands, occupying swathes of territory between Kengtung and Tachilek, on the border with Thailand.

In 1953, Burma appealed to the United Nations against the presence of KMT troops on its territory. A military commission comprising Burma, the United States – which had been re-supplying the Chinese nationalists in Burma – Taiwan and Thailand was established in Bangkok to negotiate a KMT withdrawal.

Thousands of KMT troops and their families were flown to Taiwan from Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. Chang’s family was in the first batch to leave for Taiwan, of whom about 2,000 people settled in Zhongyi District.

Even though Chang was a child in Burma, his memory of those four years is fresh.

“We had no clothes, no food, but we had guns. We hid in the forest for days fearing both the communists and the Burmese troops, until we couldn’t stand the hunger anymore. We would gather the ones who had clothes and shoes on, march into the villages in Myanmar and force them [to give us] food with our guns,” said Chang.

“But in fact, we were so poor, none of us had bullets, we were just bluffing and scaring the villagers for food,” he said with emotion, pausing for a few moments before continuing. “Now when I think back to those days, I [am ashamed of] our behaviour to the Myanmar people, but please understand it was for survival.”
When Chang was in his fifties he returned to Myanmar and married the daughter of one of his father’s comrades in the Shan capital, Taunggyi.

Mr Shi Bing Ming also feels ashamed about the way the KMT treated the Myanmar people during the guerilla war in the hills. “I remember at one point, we started issuing receipts to the Myanmar people for taking their land and food, but, of course, our government later denied all those receipts and didn’t pay back the Myanmar people,” said Shi, 91, who spent his early twenties fighting in Burma before being relocated to Taiwan in 1953.

Originally from an area of Yunnan bordering the Wa region in Shan State, Shi is descended from a family that has produced generations of headmen in the Lahu community. He never imagined as a boy that he would become a soldier, spend years in Burma and eventually settle in Taiwan, an island about 2,300 kilometres from his hometown in Yunnan.

In 1950, when Shi was doing an undergraduate degree in literature at the University of Yunnan, he heard from friends that “the communists” were invading his Lahu community’s territory.

“Because of the lack of manpower, my mother was the one leading the defence. Of course, I had to stop my studies and make my home to help my family,” Shi said.

He hid in a truck carrying cotton from China to Burma but was caught by Burmese troops who wanted to send him to a camp at Lashio for refugees of the Chinese civil war.

Shi feigned being a Lahu from Burma by speaking Lahu and after giving the Burmese soldiers two bottles of alcohol he was released. Shi eventually joined the KMT Eighth Army under General Li Mi, who launched several failed attempts to invade China. In 1953, Li and about 7,000 troops, including Shi, were airlifted to Taiwan but thousands remained in Burma and Thailand, where many became heavily involved in the opium trade.

“They lied to us,” said Shi. “They told us, we will just be here in Taiwan temporarily; it’s all a show for the American and Burmese governments, but we will soon return to China or Burma to continue our revolution.” By the time Shi returned to his hometown at Yunnan he was in his sixties and the family home had made way for a basketball court.

Not all of the KMT supporters and their families had opportunities to relocate to Taiwan or Thailand or to return to China.

U Soe Win died at Hinthada in Ayeyarwady Region in 2010. Originally from Jiangxi Province in southeast China, he was a member of X Force, the KMT troops sent to Burma in 1942 to help the British defend it from the advancing Japanese. The Japanese couldn’t be stopped and X Force had to retreat to India. He later fought with the KMT’s 38th Army.
Soe Win never returned to China as a resident. His only identification document was a card issued by Burma’s Immigration Department. It said: “The holder of this identity card is a Chinese refugee who is required to return to China as soon as conditions there permit his return.”

Soe Win’s body was scarred by war, his son-in-law, U Htin Aung, told Frontier at his Yangon home.

“He had at least 19 gun and knife wounds on his body,” said Htin Aung. Soe Win seldom discussed his past, especially with his wife and children, because he wanted them to stay away from politics, he said.

After serving with the KMT, Soe Win remained in Burma and was given a military training role by General Aung San. He trained soldiers for Prime Minister U Nu between 1948 and 1953, before leaving for the northern border and serving armed ethnic groups in the Kokang region.

He retired as a military trainer in 1954 and raised his eight children while working as a Chinese traditional medicine practitioner in Hinthada, where the UN had provided him and 17 troops land to live on as refugees.

Life wasn’t easy for Soe Win in Burma and he spent seven years in prison for his involvement in politics.

It took Htin Aung years to gather enough information from the tight-lipped Soe Win to be able to trace his family. After tracking them down he organised a family reunion at Hinthada during Soe Win’s later years. During the search for relatives, Htin Aung discovered that his father-in-law had used at least three different Chinese names, none of which had the correct family name.

Soe Win never applied for Burmese citizenship and did not allow his children to become citizens. He was hoping that the family would eventually be resettled in Taiwan and it would be easier to receive citizenship if they were refugees.

However, when he applied in 1989 to relocate to Taiwan with his family, the request was refused by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence because he was no longer an active army member. He applied for a war service pension in 1994 but was refused because he was never officially discharged.

As someone who had dedicated his life to the KMT, Soe Win was apprehensive about returning to China. “He tried to go back to China twice,” Htin Aung said.

“During his first attempt, China was doing the three-anti and five-anti campaigns, which were movements [in 1951 and 1952] led by Mao Zedong targeting political opponents and capitalists. The second time was during the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976]. Fearing for his and his family’s safety, he turned away and never tried to return to China again,” he said.

“He passed away with a lot of anger in his heart, especially hate for the KMT,” Htin Aung said.

“He stayed in Myanmar and served the KMT for much of his life but they abandoned him. He could never go home to China and the Myanmar government never treated him as one of their own,” he said, adding that the military often came and searched Soe Win’s house at Hinthada.

Htin Aung said his father-in-law did not like to talk about his years with the KMT. If he asked Soe Win how many people he had killed, the old man would answer by sitting in silence. He also used to ask Soe Win if he was a spy for the KMT.

“Until his death, he never denied or accepted it,” Htin Aung said.

আরএসএসের প্রধানকে ভারতের রাষ্ট্রপতি করার আহ্বান

ভারতের রাষ্ট্রপতি হিসেবে প্রণব মুখোপাধ্যায়ের মেয়াদকাল শেষ হতে যাচ্ছে চলতি বছরের জুলাইতে। এর পর দেশটির রাষ্ট্রপতি পদে কে বসছেন, তা নিয়ে চলছে জল্পনা-কল্পনা। এর মধ্যেই ভারতের ক্ষমতাসীন দল ভারতীয় জনতা পার্টির (বিজেপি) মিত্র সংগঠন শিবসেনা প্রস্তাব করেছে একজনের নাম। তিনি বিজেপির মাতৃসংগঠন রাষ্ট্রীয় স্বয়ংসেবক সংঘের (আরএসএস) প্রধান মোহন ভগত।

এ বিষয়ে আরএসএসের একটি পত্রিকার নির্বাহী সম্পাদক সঞ্জয় রাউত বলেন, ‘আমরা শুনেছি পরবর্তী রাষ্ট্রপতি হিসেবে মোহন ভগতের নাম বিবেচনা করা হচ্ছে। আর সেটি সঠিক সিদ্ধান্ত হবে বলে মনে করি।’

সঞ্জয় বলেন, শিবসেনা রাষ্ট্রপতি পদে কাকে সমর্থন করবে, তার চূড়ান্ত সিদ্ধান্ত নেবে দলটির প্রধান উদ্ধব ঠাকরে। এ বিষয়ে তাঁর সঙ্গে আলোচনা করা হবে। তিনি বর্তমানে মুম্বাই শহরে অবস্থান করছেন।

এদিকে গুঞ্জন উঠেছে, মার্চের শেষের দিকে এক বৈঠকে ঠাকরেকে আমন্ত্রণ জানিয়ে চিঠি পাঠিয়েছেন ভারতের প্রধানমন্ত্রী নরেন্দ্র মোদি।

এ বিষয়ে জানতে চাওয়া হলে সঞ্জয় সাংবাদিকদের বলেন, ‘আপনারা কি চিঠি দেখেছেন? এ ধরনের বৈঠক মাঝেমধ্যেই হয়ে থাকে। কিন্তু রাষ্ট্রপতির পদের জন্য নির্বাচন একটি বড় বিষয়।’

‘আপনারা (বিজেপি) যদি আমাদের সমর্থন চান, তাহলে মুম্বাই এসে আমাদের আমন্ত্রণ জানাতে হবে।

রাশিয়ায় পাতাল রেলে বিস্ফোরণ, নিহত ১০

রাশিয়ার সেন্ট পিটার্সবার্গ শহরের একটি পাতাল রেলস্টেশনে বিস্ফোরণ হয়েছে। ওই ঘটনায় এখন পর্যন্ত ১০ জন নিহত হওয়ার খবর পাওয়া গেছে।

রাশিয়ার বার্তা সংস্থা তাস জানিয়েছে, শহরের সেন্যায়া স্কয়ার স্টেশন নামের স্টেশনে ওই বিস্ফোরণ ঘটে। তাস জানিয়েছে, নিহত হওয়ার পাশাপাশি আহত হয়েছে অসংখ্য ব্যক্তি। তবে আহতের সংখ্যা জানা যায়নি।

তবে দ্য টেলিগ্রাফ জানিয়েছে, ৩০ জন আহত হয়েছে। বিবিসি জানিয়েছে, সামাজিক গণমাধ্যমে প্রচারিত ছবিতে দেখা যায়, একটি রেল কামরার দরজা উড়ে গেছে। কামরার ভেতর বিধ্বস্ত।

এ ছাড়া অন্য একটি ছবিতে দেখা যায়, স্টেশনের প্ল্যাটফরমের মাটিতে শুয়ে আছেন আতঙ্কিত মানুষ। বিস্ফোরণের পর ধোঁয়ায় আচ্ছন্ন হয়ে যায় পুরো স্টেশন।

রাশিয়ার প্রেসিডেন্ট ভ্লাদিমির পুতিন এখন সেন্ট পিটার্সবার্গেই আছেন। সেখানে বেলারুশের প্রেসিডেন্ট আলেকজান্ডার লুকাশেঙ্কোর সঙ্গে বৈঠক হওয়ার কথা তাঁর।

তাস জানিয়েছে, ওই ঘটনার পর বিমানবন্দরে নিরাপত্তাব্যবস্থা জোরদার করা হয়েছে।

KSA GRANTS IQAMA TO FOUR MILLION BURMESE

Jeddah: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia decided to give residency permits (iqamas) to Four million Burmese Muslims who escaped their country under religious oppression.
A large number of Burmese citizens have been living in the Kingdom for more than 70 years. The Sheikh of the Burmese community in Makkah, Abu Alshamaa Abdulmajeed, praised the role of the Saudi government in assisting the Burmese community and supporting them as they resettled in the Kingdom.

The iqama will now allow them to access health facilities; educational facilities and job opportunities. Till date, 170,000 Burmese have received their iqamas

“Additionally, due to this new government move, students who are studying in schools run by charitable organizations will now have the opportunity to study in public schools from the primary to secondary stages,” said Abdulmajeed
He added. “The dream of returning to Burma has faded from the hearts of members of the community due to a lack of passports, especially as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi embassies have refused to grant them passports. The fear of prosecution and torture against Muslims also makes this dream impossible at this time.”

Military drills near Burma

China has conducted military exercises near its border with Burma, where fighting between the Burmese army and ethnic rebels has flared in recent months.
The annual training exercise on Tuesday involved the Chinese army and air force and tested troops’ rapid response and joint strike capabilities, the defense ministry said.

China’s government said earlier this month that more than 20,000 people from Burma have fled into China amid renewed fighting.

At least 30 people were killed this month in a single day in a Burmese town in a Chinese-speaking region near the border.

China has called for a cease-fire and says authorities in the border area have offered shelter and assistance to the refugees.

ASSOCIATED PRESS