จับตาดูประเด็น ไทย-พม่า

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Re: จับตาดูประเด็น ไทย-พม่า

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:29 am

Blast, Assassination Attempt Raise Border Tensions

Two people were killed and four others seriously injured when a bomb exploded in Myawaddy, Karen State, on Friday night. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast in the restive border town, where tensions between government troops and ethnic insurgent groups have been rising in recent weeks.

According to sources on the Thai-Burmese border, the bomb exploded in the parking area of a crowded market. It was believed that two unidentified men killed in the blast were carrying the bomb on their motorcycle.

“It was a really shocking scene. The bodies of the young men were torn apart at their waists,” said a trishaw driver who witnessed the scene.

Both men appeared to be of Indian descent and were wearing camouflage pants and driving a black Honda Dream motorcycle, he added. The blast created a commotion in the market and local authorities sealed off the area shortly afterward.

Despite rumors that at least 20 people were wounded in the explosion, only four people—three women and a young girl—had been hospitalized in the Myawaddy Township hospital, sources said.

The number of casualties would have been much higher if not for the fact that it was raining when the bomb went off, said a local policeman, who added that the two dead men were most likely responsible for the blast.

“We believe that they came to set up a motorcycle bomb, but the bomb went off accidentally before they could do that,” he said without identifying the two men.

The authorities also found an unexploded grenade in the market's toilet and a 38-volt pistol near the scene of the explosion. The pistol was already destroyed because of the explosion.

The incident comes as Burma's ruling regime continues its weeks-long closure of border checkpoints in Myawaddy, a move that has taken an especially high toll on the income of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), an ethnic cease-fire group that has been resisting demands by the junta to transform itself into a border guard force (BGF) under Burmese military command.

Although the DKBA signed a cease-fire agreement with the regime soon after it broke away from the Christian-dominated Karen National Union (KNU) in 1994, the BGF issue appears to be pushing some of its members back into the arms of the KNU and its armed wing, the Karen national Liberation Army (KNLA), raising the specter of a return to major hostilities in the area.

On Thursday, in an attempt to assassinate Lt-Gen Ye Myint, the regime's military intelligence chief and its major negotiator for the BGF plan, KNLA troops ambushed a convoy of junta troops led by Lt-Gen Khin Zaw of the Ministry of Defense near Kawkareik Township in Karen State, leaving at least five people dead and two wounded. All Burmese senior military officials escaped unhurt and it was later found that Ye Myint was not in the convoy, a KNLA official confirmed.

Pawh Doh, the military commander of the KNLA battalion responsible for the attack, told The Irrawaddy on Saturday that the ambush was based on a tip-off that Ye Myint and other senior Burmese military officials, including Khin Zaw and Lt-Gen Thet Naing Win, were planning to meet DKBA leaders on Friday for final talks on the BGF issue in Myawaddy.

The tension in the region has been heightened by the fact that the Burmese government has not shown a sign of opening its border again with Thailand. The immediate cause behind the closure, which is Thailand's construction of a concrete wall along the Moei River dividing the two countries, has also not been resolved yet.

According to The Bangkok Post on Saturday, Thai Foreign Ministry officials proposed setting up a technical committee to oversee all construction projects planned along the Moei River at a recent meeting with their Burmese counterparts.

Both sides agreed to the proposal and also to set up a monitoring system by which local people will help inspect construction along the river while authorities will monitor the river path via satellite to see if it has changed.

But it remains unclear if the Burmese regime will open the border again before it has successfully resolved the BGF issue with the DKBA. Villagers in areas under the control of DKBA leaders who voiced their rejection of the BGF have reportedly begun fleeing to Phop Phra, in Thailand's Tak Province, for fear of violent clashes.

This week, a labor rights group in Mae Sot, opposite Myawaddy on the Thai side of the border, reported that two illegal Burmese migrant workers deported by the Thai authorities at a Burmese border crossing were gunned down.

By THE IRRAWADDY

_________________
ท้องทะเลและมหาสมุทร ไม่เคยปราศจากคลื่นฉันใด
มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

sunny

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Re: จับตาดูประเด็น ไทย-พม่า

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:14 am


A Thai soldier takes a break beneath the Friendship Bridge border
crossing in Mae Sot, Thailand. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Border Closure May Last Longer than Expected

MAE SOT — After a meeting last week between Thai and Burmese officials failed to resolve the impasse over Burma's decision to close the border crossing at Mae Sot, Thailand, it appears that businessmen, traders and migrant workers will have to continue their anxious wait for the border to reopen.

Burmese military officials led by Lt-Gen Khin Zaw, chief of the Bureau of Special Operations-4 overseeing the coastal and southeast regional military commands, met Thai officials of the 4th Infantry Division, which is based in Tak Province and is tasked with securing nearly 2,000 square kilometers of Thailand’s border.

At the meeting, Khin Zaw would reportedly not guarantee the border would open in the near future. Confirming the suspicions of some observers, he said the dispute between the two countries over a Thai construction project maintaining the bank of the Moei River is not the only reason for closing the border. Border security concerns due to tensions over the Burmese regime's Border Guard Force (BGF) plan are also an issue.

“The Burmese general [Khin Zaw] told his Thai counterparts at the meeting that Burmese troops will launch an offensive against splinter groups of the DKBA [Democratic Karen Buddhist Army] if there is resistance on the BGF,” said a Thai military source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He also gave notice to Thai military officials that some accidents could occur on the border during the attacks.”

A Burmese intelligence officer in Myawaddy also told The Irrawaddy recently that the border may not reopen soon because the situation is complicated, and suggested that different reasons forced Naypyidaw to keep the border closed.

“This time the order came from top generals in the capital. So even a regional commander such as Maj-Gen Thet Naing Win could not decide to open the border,” the officer said. “The dispute over construction on the river is quite a small issue—the Thai-Burma relationship and security along the border are the main reasons for closing the border.”

“The generals also ordered commanders here to take action to avoid more DKBA splinter groups and not allow those that have already deserted to unify with the KNU [Karen National Union] in the strategic region on the border with Thailand,” he said.

Following the border closure on July 18, the Burmese junta reinforced its troops in the DKBA’s mobilized areas. Thai intelligence sources said they believed several light infantry battalions from the north of Burma are now deployed on the Thai-Burmese border, joining with other troops stationed there.

Thai intelligence sources said a DKBA splinter group of an estimated 1,200 troops led by Col. Saw Lah Pwe, also known as Mr. Beard, was moving to the south of Myawaddy because government troops were hunting them. The sources said Saw Lah Pwe's troops intended to join other troops in the Three Pagoda Pass area of Mon State.

Security analysts said Naypyidaw is quite concerned that a DKBA unification with their former comrades in the KNU could return the situation on Burma’s strategic eastern border to the tumultuous period before the fall of the KNU’s headquarters in Manepalaw in 1995. Manepalaw had survived the Burma army’s offensives until the KNU’s Buddhist troops split and formed the DKBA.

In addition, the Burmese generals in Naypyidaw believe that control over the their eastern border is important to deter external as well as internal threats. According to Burmese military sources, the generals often say at meetings that a “powerful country” could attack Burma from the east, noting Thailand’s close cooperation with the United States in military affairs.

Along its border with Thailand, the Burmese military has reportedly deployed four regional military commands, two light infantry divisions, one regional operations command, seven military operations commands, three sector operations centers, five artillery operations commands, two air-defense operations commands and six missile operations commands.

Meanwhile, in July the Thai government gave its approval to the Royal Thai Army to spend 10 billion baht (US $ 313 million) to form the new 7th Infantry Division with 25,000 troops to be based in Chiang Mai. The Thai government also gave the army permission to spend 5 billion baht ($156.5 million) to purchase 121 armored personal carriers and 350 million baht ($11 million) to purchase a reconnaissance airship, Thai media reported.

According to Matichon newspaper, the Thai Third Army commander, Lt-Gen Thanongsak Apirakyothin, said on the forming new division: “It's based on our assessment of the threats in the western and northern parts of the country.”

_________________
ท้องทะเลและมหาสมุทร ไม่เคยปราศจากคลื่นฉันใด
มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

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Re: จับตาดูประเด็น ไทย-พม่า

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:20 am



DKBA Troops to be Honored for Joining Border Guard Force

The Burmese military regime plans to hold a ceremony this month for an estimated 6,000 troops from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) in honor of their becoming part of the junta's border guard force (BGF), said sources close to the DKBA.

“They will become just like Burmese government troops, under the direct control of Burma's armed forces,” Saw Htee Moo, a DKBA source on Thailand-Burma border, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Sources in Mae Sot said the Burmese regime will change the patch of the DKBA soldiers, replacing it with the patch of the BGF.

“No more DKBA. They [the DKBA] are finished. The name of the DKBA will turn into the Border Guard Force,” Saw Htee Moo said.

The DKBA—an ethnic Karen armed militia that has served as a proxy militia for the Burmese military since breaking away from the Karen National Union (KNU) in 1994—will become the largest ethnic ceasefire militia to join the BGF.

The DKBA troops will reportedly arrive at the DKBA’s headquarters in Myaing Gyi Ngu on August 13 and the celebration will take place on August 14, according to sources in the Pa-an District, Karen State.

Separate ceremonies will take place this month in other DKBA controlled areas, including Shwe Koko, the Karen State headquarters of DKBA Special Battalion 999 led by Col. Chit Thu.

According to Burma’s 2008 Constitution, the DKBA will be a part of the Burmese armed forces and will be receive the same salary as Burmese military troops, said sources.

Clause 338 of Chapter VII of the Constitution, titled “Defence Services,” states that all armed forces in the union shall be under the command of the defense services. It also states that the defense services, known as the “Tatmadaw” in Burmese, is the main armed force for the defense of the union.

The DKBA has six brigades with an estimated 6,000 armed fighters. A large faction from Brigade 5, led by Col. Saw Lah Pwe, also known as Mr. Beard, split from the DKBA in late July because they did not want to join the BGF.

According to Capt. Bu Paw of Battalion 201 of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, about 20 DKBA soldiers under Brigade 999 also joined Saw Lah Pwe in reaction to a Burmese military clampdown after he defected.

The remaining DKBA brigades have thus far stayed in tact, but some observers and border sources said the Burmese government is hurrying to hold the August 14 honor ceremony to avoid further divisions within the DKBA ranks.

Bu Paw said that some of the remaining DKBA soldiers have already contacted the KNU for assistance in case of fighting. “We have communication. We made contact and talked about how to help each other if something happens,” he said.

Other Karen sources reported that the Burmese military has reinforced its troops in areas near the region controlled by Saw Lah Pwe. About 500 Burmese forces under Light Infantry Division 22 and Light Infantry Division 44 were beefed-up last week near Saw Lah Pwe's base, said sources on the Thailand-Burma border.

Sources also said that a clash between Saw Lah Pwe's breakaway faction and Burmese government forces could take place in the near future.

On August 6, Saw Lah Pwe and leaders of the KNLA held an emergency meeting in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, where the KNLA agreed to support their new allies if they come under attack.
Other large ethnic ceasefire militias, such as the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), have also refused to become part of the BGF.

_________________
ท้องทะเลและมหาสมุทร ไม่เคยปราศจากคลื่นฉันใด
มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

sunny

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Re: จับตาดูประเด็น ไทย-พม่า

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:44 am

Thailand Reportedly Pushing Ahead with Tavoy Route

Thailand is pushing ahead with plans for a new highway to connect with Burma’s Andaman Sea coast at Tavoy, according to the latest edition of the industry newspaper World Highways.

The Thai government will finance a US $62 million road which would eventually connect the Thai town of Kanchanaburi with Tavoy, which is also known as Dawei.

The 160-kilometer new road will take four years to build, said the paper.

The report adds further credence to recent reports that Bangkok and Naypyidaw are still negotiating on the possible development of Tavoy as a deep sea vessel cargo port.

Tavoy, on Burma’s far south coast, is on a line with Bangkok, barely 500 kilometers away.

However, analysts have said that opening up this route would likely do little to benefit the Burmese junta, while adding to their security angst.

_________________
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มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

sunny

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