Skip to main content

Myanmar army overruns Kachin rebel camps as fighting escalates

Myanmar's military has used heavy weapons to overrun remote rebel camps in northern Kachin state, the army said Friday, as a seasonal offensive ramps up the long-running conflict.
A separate military campaign in Rakhine state, which has forced 655,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border into Bangladesh, has dominated global attention.
But the conflict in Kachin, a mainly Christian state in the Buddhist-majority country, has rumbled on away from international headlines and fighting is again intensifying now that monsoon rains have ended.
The army -- or Tatmadaw -- said it had gained the upper hand after seizing 22 camps of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) since mid-November and blocking off a key timber smuggling route to China.
Heavy weapons were used Thursday to attack hillside camps as the army killed "some enemies" and seized arms and ammunition, according to a statement posted on Facebook by the office of commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
"Tatmadaw columns are in hot pursuit of fleeing terrorist insurgents," the statement added.
The rebels and the army trade allegations of abuses, while observers accuse both sides of trafficking timber, jade and drugs to fund the fighting.
After a 17-year ceasefire, the KIA restarted its fight for autonomy in 2011 resulting in unrest that has killed hundreds and displaced more than 100,000 people.
The KIA confirmed the renewed hostilities were "very serious" and that the military was using airstrikes and heavy artillery against its positions.
"Our ethnic groups didn't launch the offensive. It was the military. We are only fighting back," KIA spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Naw Buu told AFP, also denying rebel involvement in the illegal timber trade.
"That timber is not from Kachin state. We have no trees left to cut down," he said.
Like many restive border areas in the country, access for journalists, diplomats and aid groups is heavily restricted, making independent verification of claims on either side difficult.
Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government swept to power in the 2015 elections, but Myanmar's military retains control of the key defence, border and home affairs ministries.
That effectively gives it a carte blanche to conduct operations without parliamentary approval.
Suu Kyi's government is desperate to reach a binding peace agreement with some two dozen armed ethnic groups.
But fighting across Kachin and Shan states is threatening talks.
"If the fighting goes on, it could upset all the peace plans," political analyst Khin Zaw Win told AFP. 
"The tragedy for Myanmar is these two processes are going on in tandem. There doesn't seem to be any coordination and the military is upstaging everything." 
Hundreds of people have been displaced across Kachin and neighbouring Shan, the UN said, confirming reports that army mortar shells on Christmas Eve landed near a camp sheltering some 6,900 people. 
"Yet again we see men, women, and children fleeing violence for the second or even third time," UN spokesman Pierre Peron said.


Popular posts from this blog

Google Apologizes for Buzz Privacy Issues

By David Coursey Google has responded to anger over its Buzz social network with an apology and second round of privacy-related changes.
People who read this also read:People Who Like This Also Like
Google Buzz: A Privacy Checklist30530736
Google Buzz Criticized for Disclosing Gmail Contacts30491320
The Buzz About Google Buzz30456756
EPIC Files Privacy Complaint Against Google Buzz30759636
Google Buzz Faces More Scrutiny Over Privacy30781886
Google Responds to Buzz Privacy Issues. Again30688868 The latest move replaces the controversial "auto-follow" feature with something Google calls "auto-suggest."
Saturday's revision was the second major change to Buzz since the service was introduced last Tuesday. Since then, Google had been besieged by complaints that Buzz endangers user privacy.

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyrightLELUXHOSPITALImage captionAuthorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break down melanin in the sk…

Religion Distribution in Myanmar

By Arakanese Indobhasa

Myanmar is situated in the Southeast Asia; its neighboring countries are Bangladesh in the West, India in the Northwest, China in the Northeast, Laos and Thailand in the East. It is well known as one of the Theravada Buddhist Countries in the world, and the population of Myanmar is over fifty million with 135 ethic groups of which the main national races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhing and Shan.

Among these national races, Rakhaing, Sham, Mon and Bamar are the majority of Buddhist believers, and also it is known as a free worship country. Because it is a freedom worship country, there are many different kinds of believers based on their beliefs. The main religion is Buddhism, and it is also the majority one. The Distribution of Religious Beliefs in Myanmar is as the following:-