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UN special envoy in Thailand to meet Foreign Minister about Myanmar crisis

Tim Newton

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PHOTO: Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener - The MM Times

The UN’s special envoy on Myanmar is meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution for the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

But Thai officials have put her quarantine ahead of the needs of the Burmese people with Christine Schraner Burgener, who arrived in Bangkok yesterday, having to spend 7 days in ASQ before meeting in person with FM Don. The special envoy received 2 doses of Covid vaccine before her departure to Thailand.

She is visiting Thailand as part of a quick (well, not so quick with the imposed 7 day delay) diplomatic tour around ASEAN nations to “explore possible solutions” to the continuing carnage in Myanmar brought about by the Tatmadaw following a military coup on February 1. Nearly 600 civilians have been killed by gangs of soldiers under orders to crackdown on protesters who insist on a return of the civilian Aung San Suu Kyi government.

In the November general election in Myanmar, the military backed parties only gained 17% of the total vote. Military chiefs say that there was “voting irregularities” despite Myanmar’s independent election commission claiming the vote was “free and fair”.

Christine Schraner Burgener, a former Swiss ambassador to Thailand, has served as the special envoy on Myanmar for 3 years. Her specific mandate from the UN is to “support the reform, reconciliation and democratisation processes in Myanmar, as well as to address violence in Rakhine State and Rohingya displaced persons”.

Thailand’s government whilst calling for a peaceful resolution has held back from more forceful language over the violence in the neighbouring country. The government has also come under fire from NGOs stationed on the border, monitoring the flow of refugees crossing from Myanmar, who claim the government has been doing little to help and, in some cases, just turning the refugees back and refusing them entry.

According to Thai PBS World, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry says that Thailand is “deeply concerned”.

“We are committed to cooperating and engaging constructively with the international community, including through the UN and ASEAN, in order to find a peaceful solution for Myanmar and its people. We hope that this visit to the region by the Special Envoy can contribute towards possible solutions.”

AFP quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the junta in Myanmar has not yet given Burgener a “green light” to visit the country..

With the backing of the UN Security Council, Christine Schraner Burgener says she wants to visit detained civilian leaders, mostly from the NLD ruling party (before February 1, including the Myanmar President Wint Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | AFP

 

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    lolo

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    What a bunch of rats, they could have find a solution for her.

  2. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    UN had pushed Su Kyi to accept Bangladeshi Muslims….Myanmar fought back. Now UN wants to push neighboring countries to push for a Muslim state inside Myanmar? It won’t happen.

  3. Avatar

    Michael

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    @ J West

    The UN wants to push? This is about some criminal generals killing innocent civilians.

  4. Avatar

    Niko

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    They should put the lady waiting for 2 weeks instead of 1 besides the UN job is not to give pinons to internal affairs only disputes between stated but off course that´s not what happens

    The attacks of the Bangladeshis on the border really happened and they were very similar to what happens on the Malaysia/Thai border or even Syria.

    All of what this lady is doing is trying to destabilize the region. I don´t know the reasons for the military taking over the government but they are not as simple: “They lost election and got angry”

    They also lost election 5 years ago and didn´t do any of that so there must be more to this than meets the eye.

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    They lost an election on purpose previously because they had a tame, supposed, champion of freedom, which was rubbished with her none protection of the Rohingears. Shu Kyi, a liar and a cheat.
    She was a puppet of the dictators, but when she dared to object to them she was jailed in her own house.
    Not much hardship there and when they release her she will comply with these tyrants to be paid big money and again be a star!!

  6. Avatar

    sam

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 1:42 am

    UN special envoys have been serving many restive regions in the world. However,none of them are actually successful in resolvings conflicts for decades.It is due to to the power brokers,who are not willing to comprise to bring peace.

  7. Avatar

    Ian

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 4:24 am

    Un total shit useless

  8. Avatar

    Comicus

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    To stop the conflict is quite simple actually but the West Think Tanks wanted to make use of un-armed civilians against the military. They knew that no military take over happened without any plans but still encouraged people to go out and get themselves killed because their own hidden agenda.
    .
    If the West Think Tanks were unable to predict that an outcome of encouraging un-armed people to win democracy back from the military is simply asking for “death”, they should stop calling themselves “Think Tank”.
    .
    The Myanmar military is not going to allow the West to tell them what to do. An era of the West’s oppression is indeed history. To be exact, the Thai military also can ignore the West as well. The West need to adjust to the current overall situation fast to delay the demise that already started for quite sometime.

  9. Avatar

    Steven

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 11:51 am

    This army destroyed and still destroying the country since Nay win times, 70 years ago, bloodbaths, Atrocities, massacre,burned down towns and villages, etc. killed thousands of people, may be million. Millions of people flee from country, 2-3 millions Burmese people In Thailand alone. Burma was the richest country in south east Asia 70 years ago before military rulings.
    By all means, this is the time the new army is definitely in need urgently which can protect the Myanmar people,

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Thailand

UN representative talks with Thai officials to help refugees fleeing Myanmar

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Center - KIC

With ongoing violence in Myanmar between the military junta and ethnic armies, a representative from the United Nations has held discussions with local authorities in Mae Hong Son, which borders Myanmar, to look into ways to help more than 2,000 Karen refugees who fled their homes to escape the violence.

Following the military coup in February, ousting the state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who had won the election in a landslide, hundreds of anti-coup protesters have been killed by security forces. Ethnic armies, many that occupy border regions, have clashed with the military junta following the coup. The prominent ethnic army of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement, leading to violent clashes with the military junta. Some fear it may be the start of a civil war.

The Myanmar military launched airstrikes on a Karen village by the Thai border in March. It was a significant attack for the Karen National Union, which had signed a ceasefire agreement back in 2015. The Karen army recently took over a state military outpost by the Thai border. Gunshots could be heard just across the Salaween River in Thailand. The ongoing violence has forced around 2,160 Karen to flee their home and cross the river into Thailand.

Mae Hong Son governor Sitthichai Jindaluang says he, as well as other senior provincial officials, met with a protection officer from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss ways to help provide assistance for the Karen refugees.

“The UNHCR representative was deeply concerned about the refugees and we told him that we have already provided them with temporary shelters, public health assistance, food, medicine, and other necessities.”

Troops have been deployed along the Thai-Myanmar border. If the situation between the Karen army and the Myanmar military escalates, then refugees will be relocated to another shelter about 1 to 2 kilometres away from the border.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Protests

Anti-coup Burmese protesters take up military training in jungles of Myanmar

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Burmese military camp via CNN

Members of Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement, including doctors and students, are taking up military training in the jungles, where they fled to escape a violent crackdown by the junta. Crawling on the ground towards their target of a small village isn’t just in preparation for a simulated clash-the training is to help protect them while they continue to resist the February 1 coup.

Small villages in the country’s ethnic border regions are now hosting white and blue collar workers as they learn how to survive military style in the wake of the Tatmadaw, or Myanmar army’s, takeover. The coup, came after opposition to last November’s democratic election which saw the National League for Democracy party win in a landslide. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and head of the NLD party was arrested, along with other leading members of the party. The Tatmadaw argued that the elections were riddled with fraud, but has yet to give any evidence.

Since February 1, the situation in Myanmar has been dire, with innocent civilians being murdered in the streets, with the UN saying the military is likely committing crimes against humanity. As the news of the political situation in the Southeast Asian country hit worldwide, several countries have issued sanctions against the army and its leaders. But, so far, those sanctions have been in vain as the junta is refusing to compromise at the very least.

Now, as the situation continues to escalate, people from all walks of life are fleeing into the jungle with some taking up the Karen National Defense Organisation’s free basic training programme to arm themselves with military-style skills, including learning how to shoot a gun. The chief of staff, Nerdah Bo Mya, seems to be doing his part in helping civilians fight back against the junta.
“This is a responsibility to protect life. If we don’t train them who’s going to help them?”
Nerdah says none of the 200 anti-coup demonstrators that he has seen at the camp, have ever held a gun before, with many still attending university. He says the free training also teaches them first aid techniques and basic marksmanship.
“They’re quite young, their age is around 24, 25 and some are nurses and also some doctors and medical staff.”
For students to seek training from ethnic armies shows how dangerous the situation is in Myanmar. Now, those being trained in the camps say they will come back and train the rest of the protesters. But Nerdah says he is aware that a bit of basic training is no match for the Tatmadaw. He says the CDM members need weapons in order to have a chance in standing up against the Tatmadaw, but would not say whether his group was supplying any, or whether learning how to make a bomb was included in the basic training.
“We told them they have to be wise and we have to fight with our head and not with our heart.”
The KNDO is not the only ethnic group offering CDM members free training. Videos from other ethnic areas show recruits chanting things like “for the people,” “for our freedom,” and “for our independence.”
Nerdah says anti-coup protesters are worried that, if the situation drags on, the world will forget about them.
“They all look up to the American government for democracy and freedom and if Chinese and Russian governments can help the brutal corrupt military regime why the American government cannot help these people who are striving for freedom and democracy in Burma.”
So far, the junta has not commented on the knowledge of protesters receiving basic training, but did publish a statement in the state-run New Light of Myanmar, asking those who have travelled to ethnic areas or even overseas, to return home. But as the tactics to quell the opposition are bloodier by the day, such a request remains in vain. Since the coup, more than 760 people have been killed, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, also noting that the actual death toll is probably much higher.
SOURCE: CNN

 

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Myanmar

Burmese rebel group claim to have downed military helicopter – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Screenshot from You Tube/Thomas Njai

Al Jazeera is reporting that a Burmese rebel group is claiming to have downed a military helicopter in Kachin province. The Kachin Independence Army says it shot down the aircraft in response to military air strikes in the province. Myanmar has been rocked by violence and political unrest since a February 1 military coup that deposed of the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party.

Anti-coup protests have continued to take place in the country but if the KIA’s claim is true, the military helicopter is the first aircraft to be downed since the start of the recent conflict. The rebel group says the helicopter was shot down yesterday morning following days of airstrikes on Kachin province.

“The military council launched air strikes in that area since around 8 or 9 this morning using jet fighters and also fired shots using a helicopter so we shot back at them.”

Thomas Njai/You Tube

The Burmese military has not commented on the claim and it has not yet been independently verified. However, multiple videos claiming to show the incident are circulating online. According to Scott Heidler from Al Jazeera, the KIA is one of the most powerful armed rebel groups in the country.

“There are many different groups, but the Kachin Independence Army is one that has really kind of been engaged in heavier battles, more frequent battles, with the Army since the coup on February 1. They said it was retaliation for airstrikes that happened overnight Sunday into Monday, and then also on Monday morning. They said they retaliated because the helicopter involved was attacking their positions.”

An anonymous Kachin resident claims that 4 people have died in hospital following the shelling of a monastery. The Burmese army is accused of having killed around 766 civilians to date, including peaceful protesters. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as violence escalates between the military junta and armed rebel groups.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

 

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