Weekly Diary, No.614 (8-14 December 2012)

Tips for the Opposition: He makes sense, doesn’t he?

Think Piece
Latpadaung protests: Facts

  • UMEH had taken control of the project from the Ministry of Mines
  • Anti Chinese sentiment evident
  • Dong Yunfei, administrative manager in Myanmar for Wanbao, says everything happened “because of a lack of transparency”
  • According to Defense Minister Way Lwin: UMEH was founded with the savings of military veterans, disabled soldiers and serving military officers

Bangkok Post, 9 December 2012

Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Economic Freedom index (published in January) lists Myanmar as one of the world’s 10 most repressive economies, saying it is “hampered extensive state controls and structural problems that severely undermine development of the private sector, lags in productivity growth and dynamic economic expansion.

Bangkok Post, 9 December 2012

Amnesia seems to be affecting some in the international community, while the Burmese people from all walks of life continue to be deprived of their basic rights., None of the country’s draconian laws have been removed or changed. There is no independent judiciary.

Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Democratic Voice of Burma, 7 December 2012

The World
10 December 2012
Of the 70 Chinese companies on the 2012 Fortune Global 500 list, 65 are state owned enterprises (SOEs):
  • Oil giants Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of Petro China, rank 5th and 6th
  • State Grid 7th
The new leadership is aiming to split them into smaller units or bring in more private investment. (Reuters)

12 December 2012
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) identifies 232 media workers behind bars worldwide on 1 December, an increase of 53 over its 2011 tally, and the highest number since surveys began in 1990. Turkey, Iran and China blamed. (Irrawaddy)

13 December 2012
Catalans protest against plans to reform the use of language in schools. Currently, all school teaching is in Catalan. Spanish is taught as a language subject. Catalonia voted for independence on 25 November. The proposed change will bolster the weight of the Spanish language. (AFP)

14 December 2012

World shocked by mass shooting in Connecticut at a primary school killing 27 people, including 20 children. The killer, 20 year old Adam Lanza, commits suicide. (Agencies)

International Relations
12 December 2012
One child policy and sex-selective abortions have led to inequal balance of men and women population in China have pushed up demand for foreign wives. Official figures released in June shows the 1.3 billion people country has 117 men for every 100 women. A farmer, going through the internet, can order a wife from Burma. One farmer says he paid 5,000 yuan ($ 800) for his marriage, compared to the traditional dowry price of 10,000 yuan for a Chinese bride. (Irrawaddy)

14 December 2012

President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi together make 5th place in the top ten of informal readers’ poll for Time Magazine’s person of the year. (Irrawaddy)

Thai-Burma Relations
10 December 2012
Dawei Development Co., a subsidiary of Ital-Thai development (ITD), was scheduled to sign contract with Burma in August. It has been delayed for ITD to prepare details of the joint development plan. Details are expected in February 2013. (Bangkok Post)

13 December 2012

Phumin Harinsut, vice chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce, says business sector has urged PM Yingluck Shinawatra to extend the nationality verification deadline, or it will face acute shortage of labor. (Bangkok Post)

14 December 2012

Labor Minister Padermchai Sasomsap rejects call by activists and business sector for extension of nationality verification deadline which ends today. (Bangkok Post)

Politics/ Inside Burma
9 December 2012
Aung San Suu Kyi, visiting ancestral home in Natmawk, urges people: to work for national reconciliation, wish the military well and to raise education level. (Irrawaddy)

Ethnic Affairs
7-9 December 2012
Chin National Front (CNF) and Naypyitaw reach 27 point agreement which includes:
  • Establishment of Chin Human Rights Committee
  • Chin citizens to be informed and consulted regarding all natural resources extraction in Chin State
  • Establishment of community radio
  • Construction of at least one airport in Chin State

12-14 December 2012
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) holds 7th congress and reaffirms commitment to work toward lasting peace within a federal system. (Press Release)

Shans/ Shan State
8 December 2012

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) leader Hkun Htun Oo meets Mongla leader Sai Leun to discuss planned intra-Shan State conference to be held next year. (SHAN)

14 December 2012

Shan New Year’s Day celebrated both at home and abroad. The main festival is in Kengtung. (SHAN)

14 December 2012
Shan New Year’s Day festival in Loi Taileng joined by United Wa State Army (UWSA) 171st Military Region’s representative Sao Lao Mong. (SHAN/TPBS)

Economy/ Business
7 December 2012

Chinese ambassador Li Junhua says China will accept the Letpadaung inquiry commission’s recommendations “if they have good advice to create stronger mutual cooperation” between the two countries.
Under the terms of 30 year contract, profits will be shared:
  • Myanmar    16.8%
  • UMEH        13.8%
  • Wanbao    13.3%
(Myanmar Times)

Human Rights
9 December 2012
Union Assembly publishes approved Population and Housing Census bill. So far estimates to the population of the country vary wildly:
  • World Bank    48 million
  • ADB        60 million
  • IMF        64 million

10 December 2012
Irrawaddy magazine comes to Burma. (Irrawaddy)

10 December 2012

Gambira aka NyiNyi Lwin released on bail, after paying $ 4 million ($ 4,650), according to brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw. (Mizzima)

11 December 2012
International Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama, sends open letter to people of Burma to exercise compassion, non-harming and mutual respect in dealing with violence in Arakan State. (Irrawaddy)

12 December 2012
For the first time since 1996, no journalist jailed in Burma this year, says Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It names the country as 7th worst country for press censorship. (Irrawaddy)

12 December 2012

Thousands of Buddhist monks stage protest in Rangoon (400), Mandalay (1,000), Pakokku and Monywa, among others, issuing a 5 point demand including apology from the President, release of those detained and an independent probe on the 29 November crackdown at Letpadaung. (Irrawaddy/AP)

14 December 2012
At least 10 anti-copper mine activists arrested since yesterday. They are being charged with Section 18 of the Peace Assembly Act for holding protests without permission. (Irrawaddy)

10 December 2012

Maj-Gen Somsak Ninbunjerdkul, Commander of Pha Mueng Force, says the 30 kg of Ice seized on the border in Mae Fa Luang originated from Greenland Group (GNG) of Wa in Mongyawn. (Thai Rath)

13 December 2012
Speaking to a press conference in Bangkok, Gary Lewis, UNODC regional representative, says tackling the trade in Burma has proven difficult. More work should be done to target the “kingpins and white-collar accomplices” rather than gauging progress on the number of arrests of street-level players.
“There is no incentive for the government to really crack down”, says Bertil Lintner. (AFP)

10 December 2012
An estimated 16 Burma Army battalions are active in Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) operational areas, says TNLA operational areas, says TNLA spokesman Maj Ta Phone Kyaw. (Phophtaw)

10 December 2012
KIA seizes 84 mm Carl Gustaf rocket launcher and shells, made in Sweden, They are believed to have been purchased by Burma in India. It is in breach of EU sanctions. (Independent/ Irrawaddy)

12 December 2012

Burmese troops are using Russian-made Mi 35 helicopters, export model of Mi 24 gunships, giving government forces an advantage. Mi 35 is armored plated and need a powerful gun to bring it down, according to Bertil Lintner. (Irrawaddy)

14 December 2012
Burma Army sending troops to Indian border where KIA’s Brigade 2 is active. (KNG)

14 December 2012
Burma Army opens new front by attacking Lajayang, controlled by Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 5th Brigade. 3 Russian-made Mi 24 gunships and 105 mm M2A1 howitzers used against it. (Irrawaddy)


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