New Light on the Kachin war

The New Light of Myanmar is often derided for its propagandistic approach to news.

As an official government newspaper — in a country that has been dominated by military dictators since 1962 — it has developed a habitual style of presentation and interpretation. For what it’s worth I often find it a useful guide on matters of national significance. It is just a pity that the website remains so user unfriendly. Perhaps any New Light of Myanmar staff who stumble on this post can petition their bosses for a major website upgrade. Just don’t point them to this earlier analysis of Burma’s official media.

While we wait for any investment in the New Light‘s web interface it is fair to say that navigating the site remains a hassle. So as a small service to New Mandala readers I went through and copied the newspaper’s articles about the Kachin State published since the start of the new war with the Kachin Independence Army in June 2011.  I have listed them in reverse chronological order.*****

Kachin State personnel for better transportation

NAY PYI TAW, 15 July-Kachin State Road and Inland Water Transport and Kachin State Transport Coordination Committee met at the Kachin State Government Office on 13 July, with an address by Kachin State Chief Minister U La John Ngan Hsai.

The state transport minister explained future plans and the secretary of the state transport coordination committee issuance of work permits to vehicles and motorpowered crafts, collection of taxes on work permits and related law enforcement activities.

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Schools in Kachin State benefit from donations

NAY PYI TAW, 8 July – Myitson Hydel-power Plant project donated stationery and school uniforms to students in Myitkyina Township yesterday.

At the donation ceremony, Chief Minister of Kachin State U La John Ngan Sai handed over exercise books, stationery and school uniforms worth over K 9.3 millions to Basic Education High School (Branch) in Aungmyintha Model Village, basic education primary schools No.1 and No.2, Kyatpaungchan post primary school and basic education primary schools No. 1, 2 and 3 in Maliyan and Nantkway villages.

After the ceremony, the Chief Minister visited computer room and lecture rooms of Aungmyintha BEHS and roads and station hospital in the village.

The attendees then made suggestions which were assessed by the chief minister.

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KIA blows up rail tracks between Hopin and Nankhwin of Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad
Tatmadaw, MPF, officials focusing on security of life and property of people

NAY PYI TAW, 6 July- KIA is committing mine explosions on motor roads, railroads and bridges for killing and wounding the people in Kachin State due to the fact that the Tatmadaw opened limited fires for the sake of project and public security.

Yesterday evening, KIA group planted mine on the rail tracks between Hopin and Nankhwin of Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad. In the incident, rail tracks were cut off and sleepers were destroyed.

Officials concerned received the information in advance and made necessary maintenance of the railroad in real time, so the train carrying the people safely runs along the railroad and there was no causality.

On 22 June, KIA group committed mine explosions at the concrete bridges between Myitkyina and Nankwe section and Mayan and Namti section on Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad.

Likewise, mine explosion was committed by KIA on rail tracks between Namna and Hopin section of Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad on 30 June. In the incidents, rail tracks were cut off and sleepers destroyed. Thanks to timely maintenance undertaken by officials concerned, the people were safe from the dangers.

Although KIA is destroying roads, bridges and rail tracks through mine explosions so as to kill the people and damage their property, the Tatmadaw, Myanmar Police Force and officials are placing emphasis on security measures for protection of life and property of the people.

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Myanmar Women’s Day marked in Myitkyina

NAY PYI TAW, 4 July- A ceremony to mark Myanmar Women’s Day took place at the town hall of Myitkyina, Kachin State on 3 July morning, with an address of Secretary of State Women’s Affairs Organization Daw Wa Wa Khine.

On the occasion, State chief Minister’s wife Daw Kansesailon, Minister for Social Affairs of Kachin State Daw Bautgyar and wife of Chief Justice of State High Court Daw Htu Sai awarded a total of ten students with flying colours, who had passed the lastyear matriculation examination, and followed by honouring on prize-giving ceremony of students who stood first, second and third in the commemorative essay contest.

Afterwards, Daw Nu Nu Yi, a member of State Women’s Affairs Organization, presented prizes to Ma Gayaesaungnan (outstanding Red Cross member), first, in women event of the Aerobic contest, the Champion State-selected aerobic team in Region/State Aerobic Contest, and the honoured member of WAO Daw Yin Yin Myint who made blood donation for 44 times.

The wife of State Chief Minister and wives of State Ministers presented three million to the outstanding students and one million to the WAO. Besides, family of U Thiha and Daw Khaung Nan presented two million to the students and one million to the WAO.

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First Kachin State Hluttaw special session continues for fourth day

NAY PYI TAW, 1 July – The fourth-day special session of First Kachin State Hluttaw (1/2011) was held at the meeting hall of Kachin State Hluttaw at 10 am, attended by State Chief Minister U La John Ngan Hsai, Speaker of the State Hluttaw U Ra Wun Jon, the Deputy Speaker and representatives.

Submission of proposal, supporting the proposal, holding discussions on the proposal approved by the Hluttaw to discuss and seeking approval of the Hluttaw were carried out.

The meeting came to an end at 11.05 am.

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Kachin State Ministers reshuffled

NAY PYI TAW, 29 June-The President Office of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued Order No. 29/2011 today.

The Order No. 29/2011 is as follows:-

Republic of the Union of Myanmar
President Office
(Order No. 29/2011)
13th Waning of Nayon, 1373 ME
(29 June, 2011)
Reshuffle of Ministers of Kachin State

The following Ministers of Kachin State submitted by the Kachin State Chief Minister were appointed at the ministries shown against each in accord with the Paragraphs (e) and (f) of Section 262 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Paragraph (c) of Article 19 of the Union Government Law and Paragraph (g) of Article 8 of Region or State Government Law.

(a) Col Than Aung
Ministry of Security and Border Affairs

(b) U Nyunt Aung
Ministry of Finance and Revenue

(c) U B Htaw Zaung
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Breeding

(d) U Aung Naing
Ministry of Forestry and Mines

(e) Dr Khin Maung Tun
Ministry of Planning and Economics

(f) U Kaman Du Naw
Ministry of Transport

(g) U Sai Maung Shwe
Ministry of Electric Power and Industry

(h) U Alay Pah
Ministry of Development Affairs

(i) Daw Bauk Ja
Ministry of Social Affairs

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Kachin State Hluttaw continues for second day

NAY PYI TAW, 29 June -The second day special meeting (1/2011) of First Kachin State Hluttaw was held at the meeting hall of the Kachin State Hluttaw this morning, attended by the State Chief Minister, State Hluttaw Speaker U Rawan Jon, the deputy speaker and State Hluttaw representatives.

First, the State Hluttaw Speaker announced the validity of the meeting as 46 of 51 hluttaw representatives eligible to attend the meeting were present accounting for 90.19 per cent, and start of the meeting.

The State Hluttaw Speaker declared the President’s order for appointment of ministers for ministries in Kachin State government.

With the reconstitution of ministries in Kachin State government, Col Than Aung was appointed as Minister for Security and Border Affairs; U Nyunt Aung, as Minister for Finance and Revenue; U B Htaw Zaung, as Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Breeding; U Aung Naing, as Minister for Forestry and Mines; Dr Khin Maung Tun, as Minister for Planning and Economics; U Kaman Du Naw, as Minister for Transport; U Sai Maung Shwe, as Minister for Electric Power and Industry; U Alay Pah, as Minister for Development Affairs; and Daw Bauk Ja, as Minister for Social Affairs.

The second day meeting ended at 10.10 am.

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Kachin State Hluttaw meets

NAY PYI TAW, 28 June-Kachin State Hluttaw held its special meeting (1/2011) at its meeting hall this morning.

It was attended by Kachin State Chief Minister U La John Ngan Hsai, Kachin State Hluttaw Speaker U Ra Wan John, the deputy speaker and members. The chief minister submitted the President’s proposal for reconstitution of Kachin State ministries to the hluttaw, which was then approved unanimously.

More ministries to be formed are Ministry of Security and Border Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Revenue, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Breeding, Ministry of Forestry and Mines, Ministry of Planning and Economy, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Electric Power and Industry, Ministry of Development Affairs, and Ministry of Social Affairs.

Defence Service Personnel Representative Col Than Aung would be appointed as Minister for Security and Border Affairs; U Nyunt Aung of Mohnyin Constituency (1), as Minister for Finance and Revenue; U Bi Htaw Zaung of Chipwe Constituency (1), as Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Breeding; U Aung Naing of Shwegu Constituency (1), as Minister for Forestry and Mines; Dr Khin Maung Tun of Myitkyina Township Constituency (2), as Minister for Planning and Economy; U Ka Man Du Naw of Myitkyina Township Constituency (1), as Minister for Transport; U Sai Maung Shwe of Mansi Township Constituency (1), as Minister for Electric Power and Industry; U Ah Lay Par of Ingyanyan Township Constituency (1), as Minister for Development Affairs; and Daw Bauk Gya of Sumprabum Township Constituency (1), as Minister for Social Affairs.

The nomination was approved with one voice.

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Special sleeper train to run on Mandalay-Myitkyina route

NAY PYI TAW, 28 June – Myanma Railways will ply a special sleeper train on Mandalay-Myitkyina route for passengers’ convenience.

The special train (33 up or 34 down) will debut on 2 July. The schedule suggests that the 33 up-train leaves Mandalay railway station at 1 pm and arrives at Myitkyina station at 5.10 am and 34 down-train leaves Myitkyina station at 1.50 pm and arrives at Mandalay station at 6 am.

The up-train runs on every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday while the down-train plies on every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. The trains stop at Shwebo, Kawlin, Mohnyin and Mogaung stations en route. The trains comprise of nine upper sleeping cars, one ordinary coach and one crew coach. The trains charge K 15000 for nationals and US$ 45 for foreigners for sleeping cars and K 6300 for nationals and US$ 18 for foreigners for coach.

The Myanma Railways has declared the extension of special train trip in areas and stations concerned.

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Tatmadaw columns inevitably counterattack KIA troops for their threats and armed attacks
Government opens the door of peace to welcome those who are holding different views if they wish to cooperate with the government in mutually concerned cases for the interests of the nation and the people and run for election in compliance with democratic practices to justly gain power
Tatmadaw counterattacks on KIA just to protect its members, nation’s important hydropower project without even a single intention of aggression or oppression

NAY PYI TAW, 17 June-KIA based in Kachin State is committing deterrence to development projects of Kachin State, disturbing to the tasks, posing threats and disturbance to Chinese staff who are working at hydropower projects. On 16 April, they made threats to stop quarry works on the east bank of the Malikha River and take their permission to continue the works.

On 5 May, KIA entered Lahsa Hydropower Project on the east bank of the Malikha River and threatened Chinese staff to move to the west bank of the river within two days and to withdraw the extended camps from the east bank as quickly as possible.

In the afternoon of 8 June, KIA group called and examined a member of Tatmadaw security unit which was discharging security duty at Tarpein Hydropower Project in Kachin State and seized a rucksack with rounds of ammunition. In that regard, two Tatmadaw officers went to KIA camp to settle the issue. But they were detained by KIA without any reason.

While a military column led by the Base Tactical Operation Commander was marching to Tarpein Hydropower Project from Bhamo, KIA troops taking positions at Hsankha Camp of KIA Liaison Office and at Htonbo on the hill at the entrance to Tarpein Hydropower Project opened fires at the column. After responding to the gun fires the Tatmadaw column on 9 June took back the two Tatmadaw officers detained by KIA.

Although the Tatmadaw column informed KIA to withdrawl from its temporary camp near Tarpein Hydropower Project not later than 11 June, KIA did not follow. The Tatmadaw column inevitably attacked and occupied the temporary camp on 12 June evening.

On 8 June, members of KIA unreasonably captured a police private and a civilian from the guardhouse of Microwave Station near Keikhteik Village, Mansi township, Bhamo District.

Though responsible police force negotiated for their release, KIA did not release them. But, they freed the detainees only when the Tatmadaw column demanded the release on 12 June.

Tarpein Hydelpower Project is the joint venture project of the Ministry of Electric Power No. 1 and Datang (Yunnan) United Hydropower Developing (DUHD) Company of China. The project is an important one and the two sides have invested heavily in the project.

As KIA members disturbed and threatened Chinese experts and employees assigned to the project, authorities warned them not to cause hindrances to the project.

But the KIA did, not pay heed to the warning, instead it launched heavy weapon fire at the project from its Dunbon Outpost, made the route linking Tarpain Hydel Power Project unsafe and blew up pylons carrying cables connecting the project and Bhamo District.

Due to their threats, altogether 215 Chinese employees assigned to the project went back to China from 9 to 14 June. Fifty Chinese employees left the project on 9 June, 84 on 12 June, 53 on 13 June and 28 on 14 June respectively. The project which is equipped with four 60-MHz generators ceased to operate as from 14 June, causing a great loss to the State and the people.

Tatmadaw columns had to inevitably attack the KIA just to rescue its officers detained by the KIA without any reason and to protect high-cost Tarpein Hydropower Project, which can largely benefit the region as well as the nation. In response to the attack of the Tatmadaw, KIA blew up nine bailey bridges, 10 RC type bridges, four concrete bridges, two wooden bridges, altogether 25 bridges, which are of importance in transportation of Kachin State, from 14 to 16 June. Such destructive acts of KIA severely harm interests of the region and the nation, destabilizing tranquility of local people and seriously damaging transport facilities.

Concerning national reconsolidation, there are still personalities and organizations at home and abroad and underground organizations that are unwilling to acknowledge the seven-step Road Map and the constitution. Nevertheless, they should bear in mind that they are also Myanmar and should hold the concept that Myanmar is their motherland and the incumbent government is their own government constituted with own national races at different levels.

Chapter (12) of the constitution stated that constitution can be amended in accordance with the procedures. However, no one, on the pretext of this, should degrade the image of their country in international community as well as causing harm to people of own race.

The government has publicly annoinced that it would open the door of peace to welcome those who are holding different views if they wish to cooperate with the government in mutually concerned cases for the interests of the nation and the people and run for election in compliance with democratic practices to justly gain power. KIA nowadays needs to realize the actual attitude of the State.

The only objective of the Tatmadaw in launching attacks on KIA is just to protect its members and an important hydropower project of the nation without even a single intention of aggression or oppression.

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Union Foreign Affairs Minister meets Chinese Ambassador

NAY PYI TAW, 17 June-Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Li Junhua called on Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin at his ministry here this afternoon.

They frankly discussed bilateral relations and cooperation.

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Hazards of drug abuse talked at Myitkyina University

NAY PYI TAW, 17 June-With a view to designating Myitkyina University as drug-free university, to helping youths understand harmfulness of drug abuse and cooperating in anti-narcotics campaigns, an educative talk on disadvantages of drug abuse was held at Myitkyina University in Kachin State yesterday.

Chief of Kachin State Police Force Police Colonel Myint Lwin gave talk on narcotics, Medical Superintendent Dr Nyunt Wai of Drug Addict Rehabilitation Centre on danger and disadvantages of drugs, and District Law Officer U Than Hlaing on laws against drugs. After the talks, educative billboards warning danger of narcotics were set up at the front of the university.