Thursday, October 11, 2007
DISSENT IN BURMESE MILITARY, DIPLOMATIC CORPS; DETAINEES QUESTIONED TO DEATH
he first signs of mutiny among Burma's important state institutions have begun to appear.
The first sign that such moves were possible emerged while the crackdown was still in full swing on the killing streets, when a military officer decided he could no longer follow orders and defected to the liberated areas near the Thai border. On Tuesday, a Burmese diplomat with 10 years service told the BBC that he'd had enough.
A Burmese diplomat has told the BBC how "appalling" treatment of Buddhist monks during last month's protests prompted him to resign from the military regime. Ye Min Tun, a foreign ministry official for 10 years, said Burma's generals had ignored the people's desire for them to negotiate with opposition activists...Let's hope this is the first of many such defections. Inside Burma of course, the risks to not carrying out the junta's murderous orders are quite high. The Jakarta Post, citing a Burmese official in Tachilek, says that five generals and more than 400 soldiers are in detention for refusing to shoot monks and other peaceful protesters in Rangoon. Unfortunately the Post's article links are only good for a day, but the story was picked up by Japan's Kyodo News.
Ye Min Tun, who describes himself as a "good Buddhist", sent a letter of resignation to the Burmese embassy in London.
In an interview with the BBC, he described the crackdown on the September protesters as "horrible".
"I have never seen such a scenario in the whole of my life. The government is arresting and beating the peaceful Buddhist monks."
Myanmar's junta has detained five generals and more than 400 soldiers for disobeying orders to shoot and beat monks and other activists during recent pro-democracy protests in Yangon, an Indonesian newspaper reported Wednesday.At least one civilian detainee, a member of the National League for Democracy has been questioned to death (wai Gaius for that choice of words in our headline today). The middle of the night sweeps and arrests are continuing, according to Burmese exile organisations with good contacts inside the country, and being picked up can be a death sentence.
The English-language Jakarta Post, in a dispatch from the city of Tachileik in Myanmar's Shan State bordering Thailand, quoted an official as saying the arrests were the first sign of divisions in the military-ruled country. "The five generals expressed their refusal to deploy their troops against the monks openly. They were then quickly put into detention by the junta," the Post quoted the official as saying. The official refused to be identified out of fear that he would be punished...
In the unabated clampdown on dissidents, the Burmese military junta today arrested two more 88 generation students, activist groups in exile said.Hla Myo Naung had developed an eye problem which required immediate medical attention, after evading a dragnet in August which swept up 15 of his 8888 Generation comrades.
The Thailand based Asia-Pacific Peoples' Partnership on Burma (APPPB), an activist group, today said authorities in Rangoon arrested Hla Myo Naung and Tharaphee, who have been in hiding. They were going to a clinic when they were rounded up.
The junta continues to conduct midnight raids and random searches arresting more activists. Authorities also reportedly used force and torture while interrogating, killing several detained activists, the group alleged.The fate of his four friends is not known.
Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said, authorities in Kyauk Padaung Township in Mandalay division on Tuesday informed family members that Win Shwe, a member of the National League for Democracy arrested on September 26, died during interrogation.
Win Shwe, a 42-year old NLD member, and four of his friends were arrested and detained at Plate Myo Police Center near Mandalay.
"He died as a result of torture during interrogation," the AAPP said.
The authorities, however, did not hand over the body of Win Shwe to family members but told them that they had cremated him.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) was noted and linked in my article yesterday. They have compiled lists of known detainees, those who have simply disappeared, and those known to have been killed, as well as for the monasteries across the country which have been raided since September 26 (currently standing at 49). The Irrawaddy reports the detainee deaths and, citing AAPP sources, says that other detainees have also been questioned to death and bodies secretly disposed of. More bodies of monks have been found in the river.
The AAPP is compiling lists of missing people and certified deaths. Bodies of monks had been found in Rangoon’s Pazundaung River in recent days, it said.Burma's "Myanmar Airlines International" has terminated flights between Bangkok and Rangoon.
The deaths of the two Rangoon University (Eastern Campus) students were reported to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday by a reliable source from his hiding place. The bodies had been secretly cremated. Shortly after speaking to The Irrawaddy, the source was arrested while talking to an exile radio station.
The source told The Irrawaddy that the two zoology students had died from drowning during their questioning in Rangoon’s Kyaikkasan interrogation center.
The UN Security Council is reportedly close to unanimous agreement on the wording of a "Security Council Presidential Statement" -- although watered down at the behest of China and Russia. A Presidential Statement requires a unanimous fifteen votes to be adopted.
Burmanet has U.S. First Lady Laura Bush's recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, in which she displays a solid grasp of what is going on, and the history behind it. Mrs. Bush has been using her position to raise the profile of Burma's freedom struggle since well before the latest uprising, and receives personal briefings from UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon. Deep wai to Mrs. Bush.