Weekly Diary, No.617 (1-4 January 2013)

Monday, 07 January 2013 16:40

Tips for Letpadaung victims: You should be happy for the UMEHL too!

Think Piece
The fact that the crime (i.e. killing of 13 Chinese sailors on 5 October 2010 at the Golden Triangle) happened in either Lao or Thai territory and was committed by Myanmar citizens was irrelevant for authorities keen to impose the Chinese justice system on a foreign crime.

Luke Hunt, Bangkok Post, 30 December 2012

Capitalism has pushed us to want more and more, leading to an endless pursuit of growth for its own sake instead of for the sake of achieving a good life.

AP, reproduced by Bangkok Post, 2 January 2013

Development is as much a state of mind as state of material.

Wasant Techawongtham, Bangkok Post, 4 December 2013

The World
4 January 2013

Protests continue in Delhi after the 16 December rape victim died in Singapore on Saturday, 29 December 2013. (Agencies)

International Relations
2 January 2013

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Washington is “deeply troubled” by the increased violence in Kachin State. (CNN)

3 January 2013

Visiting Japanese finance minister Taro Aso meets President Thein Sein. He confirms waiving of about a quarter of its debt claims and will extend $ 573 million new loans to the country for rural development, power plant rehabilitation and Thilawa project (Wall Street Journal)

3 January 2013
Continued detention of political prisoners, as well as the state of human rights in general, are likely to figure prominently in congressional consideration of US policy toward Burma, says report by bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS). The 113th Congress begins today. (Irrawaddy)

4 January 2013
UK joins UN and US to express “deeply concerned” about Kachin conflict. (Irrawaddy)

4 January 2012

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying warns Burma not to repeat “similar incident” 5 days after bombs landed inside China. While conceding that it is Burma’s “internal affairs” she urges “peaceful negotiations” to deal with the Kachin problem. (Agencies)

Thai-Burma Relations
3 January 2013

UNHCR spokesperson Vivian Tan says 74 Rohingyas detained by Thai authorities this week should not be sent back. (VOA) They were deported on the same day. (Bangkok Post)

1 January 2013
Facts and figures:

Telephones: fixed lines
Internet users
6.72 million
78.668 million
18.31 million
4,071 km
180,053 km
1.6 million
40,000 (services)
5,403 km
15,142 miles (24,227 km)
(Bangkok Post/Wikipedia)

Politics/ Inside Burma
1 January 2013

Burma rings 2013 with its first public New Year countdown in Rangoon, attended by 90,000 people. (AP)

1 January 2013
In a 5-minute radio broadcast, President Thein Sein says it is part of his campaign to communicate directly with the people. (AP)

Ethnic Affairs
24 December 2012
Union Election Commission (UEC) summons senior leaders of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) to ask explanations on 3 issues: Calendar with rape victim Thida Htwe’s photo, observation of the downfall of Arakan on 31 December, and using insulting words on Muslims in one of its articles. (Narinjara)

1 January 2013
Deputy home minister Brig Gen Kyaw Zaw Myint attends 18th national level meeting with his Indian counterparts. Topics include Indian assistance to rein in the Kachin-Naga insurgency. Naga rebels are yet to reach a “final stage of negotiations” after the KIA had apparently told them “to take its concurrence before going ahead with the negotiations.” (The Telegraph, India)

3 January 2013

Mutu Saypoe leads 5-men KNU delegation to Naypyitaw at the invitation of President Thein Sein. This is his second visit. He is expected to press the government on the escalating conflict in Kachin State. (Irrawaddy/DVB)

Shans/ Shan State
28-29 December 2012
Shan State Army (SSA) and United Wa State Army (UWSA) discuss joint crop substitution programs. (SHAN)

2-3 January 2013

Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) holds second congress in Tachilek. It recommends cooperation with other Shan parties, opposition to PR system and federalism. (SHAN)

Economy/ Business
3 January 2013
Rangoon authorities have begun cutting power supply to industrial zones for 7 hours/day, says a zone manager. Outage is common during the dry season. (Irrawaddy)

Human Rights
27 December 2012
16 year old Than Htike Aung passes away in Rangoon’s Neurological Hospital after suffering from beatings by soldiers on 16 December in Henzada. (DVB)

3 January 2013
4 goldmine workers, arrested by police on 23 November, sentenced to six months imprisonment under sedition charge, according to the wife of one of the protesters. (DVB)

3 January 2013
Over 80 Rohingyas, including 13 children and 8 women, detained by Burmese authorities at Kawthaung (Victoria Point) after traffickers abandoned them en route to Malaysia. (DVB) About 13,000 fled Burma and neighboring Bangladesh in 2012, says UN on the following day. (AFP)

3 January 2013
Pneumonia, fever, cough, stomachache and diarrhea are spreading among refugees in Bangladesh, according to a doctor from Teknaf. Their shelters, made of plastic, bushes and branches, provide little protection from the cold winds prevalent this time of the year. (Kaladan)

4 January 2013

Bai Xuoqian, leader of Kokang, awarded World Peace Prize by UN Chinese Friendship Association (UNCFA) on 10 December, UN Human Rights Day in Beijing. Poppy plantation and drug trade still continue to persist in Kokang after Peng Jiasheng’s ouster. (Irrawaddy)

31 December 2012
Two rocket shellings land on the border with China, just opposite Laiza (Irrawaddy)

1 January 2013
President’s office director Maj Zaw Htay says helicopters and jets alleged to have carried out attacks were actually used mainly to supply government units whose access to supplies by road has been cut off by the KIA. “The military has given assurances that it is not launching offensive against KIA headquarters.” (AP)

2 January 2013

A key base had been seized from the rebels on December 30 “with the help of air strikes in the region” said a report on the military’s Burmese language Myawady news website. (Telegraph, UK)

4 January 2013
Week long air strikes cease, after warning by Beijing. Fighting on the ground continues to intensify. (Irrawaddy)


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