Burma News International

 

15 October 2004

 

* India-Burma border fencing delays due to protest by local communities

 

* Mon State PDC ordered Chaungzon USDA to form USDA battalion in town


*
India Refuses to Issue Visa to Exiled Burmese PM

 

 

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Surajit Khaund/Mizzima News

October 15, 2004

 

A survey of the border between India and Burma has been completed in

the state of Manipur, which shares a 300-kilometer border with Burma,

but subsequent fencing work along the border cannot be carried out due

to protests raised by two communities.

 

The Indian Home Ministry and its Burmese counterpart completed the

survey work during March last year and began erecting a fence along

the border, but Manipur’s Tangkhul and Kuki Naga communities protested

so ardently that work was stopped.

 

Dwiju Mani Singh, a senior officer of the Manipur government, said

protests from people living in the Moreh, Chorokhunou and Molchan

areas forced the Home Ministry to refer the matter to the Manipur

government. He said the matter is under discussion in the Manipur

cabinet.

 

Asked when the fencing work would resume, Singh said the cabinet must

decide.

 

According to Tangkhul Naga and Kuki people living in the area, a huge

stretch of land would become Burma’s territory and foment unrest among

people living on both sides of the border.

 

India and Burma decided to erect fencing along the 600-km. border to

contain drug trafficking and cross-border terrorism. Both governments

agreed to conduct a joint survey before erecting the fence. The survey

was completed within six months.

*  *  *

 

Mon State PDC ordered Chaungzon USDA to form USDA battalion in town

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Independent Mon News Agency

October 15, 2004

 

The Mon State Peace and Development Council (MSPDC) ordered Chaungzon

(Bilu­Kyoon) township’s Union Solidarity and Development Association

(USDA) to form a USDA battalion in the township, where the National

League for Democracy (NLD) was powerless, according to a USDA meeting

decision.

 

MSPDC secretary Lt. Col. Soe Myint Aung ordered it to be formed

quickly during the USDA meeting for September that was held on Oct. 3.

According to his direction the USDA battalion is to be formed with:

 

1.      One commander (from the USDA)

2.      Leader (1) (from Village PDC chairmen)

3.      Leader (2) (USDA Public Relationship Officer)

4.      10 section commanders

5.      Each section has 10 USDA soldiers.

6.      Every USDA soldier and the commander has to fill out a form

including 22 points about the USDA soldier’s biography.

 

The MSPDC general secretary also ordered Chaungzon USDA to get more

than 140,000 USDA members in Chanugzon Township.

 

In Chaungzon township, USDA and Burmese authorities dealing with the

people and the NLD became powerless, an IMNA source reported.

According to the source’s report, Chanugzon authorities pressured the

NLD hard core by threats.

 

Because NLD elected representatives Daw Khin Htay Kyoa and U Aung Kyi

Nyunt are not constantly working in the township, other NLD members

were hampered from moving freely, and NLD authority decreased. But the

government authorities and its other organizations generally took over

movement in the township.

 

On Oct. 1, Moulmein District Peace and Development Council Colonel Ko

Ko Kyi went to Chaungzon Township and ordered the Township PDC and

USDA members to form a Youth Affairs organization.

 

Colonel Ko Ko Kyi directed the Youth Affairs organization to be formed

with 15 members under 35 years old who had degrees.

 

Like Chaungzon township, other townships of the USDA in Mon State

organized people to join their USDA and some USDA members forced

villagers to join it.

 

* * *

 

India Refuses to Issue Visa to Exiled Burmese PM

================================================

Thaw Zin

Mizzima News(www.mizzima.com)

October 14, 2004

 

Some delegates intending to participate in a conference in Delhi on

democracy in Burma in the next couple of days, including the head of

the Burmese exiled government, were denied entry visas by Indian

officials, said George Fernendes, former defense minister of India.

 

Fernendes is convener of the upcoming three-day international

convention called Restoration of Democracy in Burma.

 

Conference participants are expected to come from various countries

including Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Sweden, United States,

Denmark, Canada, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Korea, East Timor, Burma

and India.

 

"There would have been delegations from more countries but some could

not make it because visas were not made available," Fernendes said at

a press conference on the approaching conference. "A lot of us don't

understand [why this has happened]," he added.

 

Dr. Sein Win, prime minister of the exiled government of Burma who is

based in Washington, Australia-based, Burmese-elected Member of

Parliament Dr. Myint Cho, and Malaysian MP Dr. Datuk Ziad Ibrahim and

his wife were all denied entry visas by the Indian embassies in their

respective countries.

 

Mizzima has learned that the Consulate General of India in Australia

said he couldn't issue a visa to Dr. Myint Cho unless he received

instructions from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). However, no

response was forthcoming from the MEA and Dr. Myint Cho was not given

a reason why.

 

The second convention is scheduled to start tomorrow and is expected

to be attended by delegates from 15 countries. The delegates are

expected to address issues including advocacy for the freedom of Nobel

Laureate and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, human rights

violations perpetrated by the ruling military junta, support for the

Burmese democratic movement, affairs concerning refugees from Burma in

neighbouring countries, policies on relations between Burma and

Southeast Asian nations and other neighbours; drug trafficking, and

security matters related to Burma.

 

A former defense minister of Canada, former and present

parliamentarians, diplomats, NGO representatives, leaders of the

Burmese democratic movement and veteran journalists will attend the

conference, organizers said.

 

"We are not the obstacles to the Than Shwe trip to India," Fernendes

said when asked why he thought the exiled prime minister of Burma had

not been issued a visa. Senior General Than Shwe, chairman of the

military's State Peace and Development Council, is set to arrive in

India on Oct. 25.

 

The Indian Foreign Ministry had requested the conference convener

to "put off this conference" until after the head of the military

junta's visit to India. But Fernendes decided to continue as per

schedule because "we started two months ago. We had done a lot of work

already and bought air tickets for delegates."

 

In 1996, Fernendes organized the first international convention for

democracy in Burma. Delegates from 11 countries attended.

 

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Burma News International is a network of nine exiled media groups

such as Mizzima News, Shan Herald Agency for News, Kao Wao News Group,

Khonumthung News Group, Narinjara News, Kaladan Press Network,

Independent Mon News Agency, Karenni Information

Network Group and Network Media Group.

 

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Burma News International

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