Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nyein Thaw @ Sense Photography

Original source: M y a n m a r H u n k s


Ko Phyo @ Pool

Original source: M y a n m a r H u n k s


Five men rob Japanese vessel of diesel, abduct three crew

The Japanese ship (right) that was robbed on its way from Singapore to Myanmar escorted to Port Klang by marine police patrol boat. — Bernama photo

PORT KLANG: Five men, two of them armed with pistols and one with a machete, siphoned off two million litres of diesel from a Japanese vessel about 16 nautical miles from Pulau Ketam here on Tuesday, marine police said.

It is learnt that in the 1am incident, the robbers also abducted three of the 18 crew of the ship which was on its way from Singapore to Myanmar with five million litres of the fuel.

Port Klang Marine Police commanding officer DSP Norzaid Muhammad Said said the robbers siphoned off the fuel to two tankers, taking between seven and eight hours to do, after tying up the crew including the captain.

"They then left the ship," he said.

Norzaid said the captain, after freeing himself, informed the diesel supplier in Singapore of the robbery.

The supplier lodged a report at the Johor Baharu police station which relayed the information to the marine police in Port Klang, he said.

"We sent our personnel to the location and found the Japanese vessel at Pulau Angsa. The ship was brought to the North Port here for further investigation," he said.

Norzaid said the captain and crew remaining on the vessel did not suffer any injury. — Bernama

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Children affected most by Myanmar fighting: UN

UNITED NATIONS: An estimated 1,000 children are among people forced to leave their temporary homes amid the fighting between the Myanmar National Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in areas of southern Kachin state, a United Nations Agency said on Wednesday.

"The fighting and the associated displacement of families has increased the health risks that children face, including by reducing their access to safe, reliable water and sanitation facilities," said Bertrand Bainvel, Unicef representative to Myanmar.

In addition, Kachin and northern Shan are already among the most heavily mined areas in Myanmar, the agency noted. Landmines left behind or placed intentionally continue to cause harm to vulnerable populations, including children, as well as hamper humanitarian aid delivery.

"It is an unfortunate fact that the heightened risk that children face does not disappear even after the fighting stops, because they face a significantly increased risk of falling victim to commonly used landmines and even to possible recruitment into the combatant's armed forces," said Mr Bainvel.

"We must provide urgent help," he said. "But life-saving aid is not enough because children need peace and stability to grow and develop."

More than 75,000 people have been displaced since fighting between government forces and Kachin rebels began almost two years ago. For many of those displaced in the latest hostilities, it is the second or third time that they have been uprooted in the past year.


Indian ambassador to Myanmar visits international trade centre

Burma: Kachin rebel leader urges US role in peace talks

Gen. Sumlut Gun Maw, ice chief of staff of the Kachin Independence Army. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A leader of ethnic Kachin rebels fighting Burma government forces is urging U.S. involvement in peace talks to quell decades of conflict in the country's lawless border regions.

Renewed clashes this month come despite efforts to forge a nationwide cease-fire agreement between the government and all armed ethnic groups. Gen. Sumlut Gun Maw says the spike in violence is an effort by Burma's army to militarily weaken the Kachin forces before any ceasefire is signed.

Gun Maw is vice chief of staff of the Kachin Independence Army. He spoke Monday to The Associated Press as he wrapped up a trip to Washington to meet with senior U.S. officials.

Burma state media has reported at least 22 people have died in fighting. Humanitarian groups say hundreds of villagers have been uprooted.


UN Secretary General Demands Sexual Violence Investigation

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

International pressure for an investigation into sexual violence in Burma is mounting, with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for the Burma government to co-operate with the UN on the issue.

Ban Ki-moon called on the Burma Government to investigate human rights abuses, including sexual violence.

"I call on the Government of Myanmar to fully investigate and respond to current and historical human rights violations and abuses, including crimes of sexual violence. I urge the Government, with the support of the United Nations and it partners, to work to develop a comprehensive protection and service response for survivors," Mr Ban Ki-moon said in a report presented to the UN Security Council.

Mr Ban Ki-moon also noted that there had been increasing reports of sexual violence in Burma since 2013, especially in war-torn Kachin State, which has been in a state of conflict since the Burma Army launched a large-scale offensive in June 2011.

"Since September 2013 there have been increased reports of sexual violence, including the rape of girls as young as 7 years of age, incidents involving multiple perpetrators and the involvement of armed actors and uniformed services."

Women and girls in Burma's conflict areas were also at risk of sexual exploitation, Ban Ki-moon said. "Conflict-affected women and girls in camps for internally displaced persons are also at risk of being trafficked, often by so-called 'brokers', to neighbouring countries for the purposes of forced marriage and sexual exploitation."

Burma Campaign UK, a human rights advocacy organisation, welcomed the statement by the UN Secretary General but questioned whether the UN could indeed influence the Burma Government.

"Burma Campaign UK welcomes the fact that the UN Secretary General is focusing more on sexual violence in Burma, and has called for an investigation," said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK.

Zoya Phan was nevertheless concerned that the UN was powerless to influence the Burma Government.

"The United Nations has made dozens of calls on the Burmese government to hold credible investigations into human rights violations, and all have been ignored. It is time the United Nations established its own investigation."

The UN Secretary General has presented the UN annual report on conflict-related sexual violence to the Security Council since 2012. The presentation is given before the Security Council debate the issue of sexual violence on Friday 25th April.

The report comes as a growing number of human rights organisations and political parties in Burma demand an investigation into sexual violence, which is often perpetrated by the Burma Army.

Last week, the Kachin National Oganisation, a political party from Kachin State, also called for an international investigation and alleged it had documented cases of rape and sexual violence committed by Burma Army soldiers as recently as the 10th of April 2014.

In an April 18 interview with Karen News, Naw K'nyaw Paw, the Secretary of the Karen Women's Organization (KWO), a community based organisation representing more than 49,000 women from Burma, said that there was a culture of impunity in the Burma Army towards human rights abuses, and especially sexual violence.

"In that culture it is acceptable to use sexual violence against ethnic women. The highest levels of the military must change that culture."

A 2014 report by the Women's League of Burma, a multi-ethnic organisation representing 13 women's groups inside Burma, documented more than 100 cases of military perpetrated sexual violence and rape since 2010 with victims as young as eight years old – 47 were gang rapes and 28 women were either killed by their abusers or later died of their injuries – leading the WLB to maintain that sexual violence was a deliberate war-time strategy employed by the Burma Army.

"Their widespread and systematic nature indicates a structural pattern: rape is still used as an instrument of war and oppression."

Related Posts:

  • Ethnic Women 'Ignored, Abused And Victimized'
  • Two years on, Kachin woman abducted by Burma's Army still missing, presumed dead
  • Burma's Kachin State War Preys On Most Vulnerable
  • Reforms make little difference in rural Burma, says KHRG in speech to UN Security Council
  • UN special rapporteur highlights problems still facing Burma

Tags: human rights, UN, women