The Panglong Agreement was an attempt to build a union out of desperate peoples. The agreement was a political marriage, trying to unite the Bamar and the non-Bamar to live together in peace and dignity. It was a marriage of political convenience — but one without love. And the honeymoon was short-lived as communist insurgency, Kuomintang invasion, and ethnic rebellion came knocking on the door. A marriage without love could last but you can’t expect it to bring much harmony. It did not work in the past. It does not work at present. It will not work in the future unless the climate of mistrust and animosity can fundamentally change. Otherwise, we should all admit that divorce is the proper answer.
SONGKHLA – Army officers from the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) are alleged to be involved in the smuggling of Rohingya migrants into Thailand, a police investigation has found.
Army commander in chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has confirmed the officers’ involvement to the Bangkok Post Sunday.
A high ranking police source involved in the case said the investigation found the trafficking of Rohingya migrants – mostly from Myanmar’s Rakhine state – to Malaysia via Songkhla had been going on for several years and was under the control of some military officers with ranks from major to colonel.
When I landed in Rangoon for the first time in April 2012 to photograph Burma’s historic parliamentary by-elections, I sped from the airport to my hotel in a rickety but relatively late-model taxi. A spirit of optimism informed my daily interactions. Jovial taxi drivers boasting Aung San Suu Kyi stickers and buttons, reveled in relating the failings of their government and their support for the National League for Democracy — just as any taxi driver might talk about politics in Dublin, London or New Orleans. The people on the street were free to speak. And as a foreign journalist, my cameras were out and working — not hiding — from the streets to the presidential palace. The Burma I encountered seemed vastly different from the relentlessly authoritarian state I’d heard so much about: here, I felt, was a country in vital transition.
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Kachin rebels say shells fired by the Burmese military at their stronghold of Laiza has killed three civilians.
The deaths are the first reported in the town since since the Burmese army began a new offensive last month, after a 17-year truce with the rebels ended in mid-2011.
Burma on Thursday denied accusations it had used chemical weapons against ethnic minority rebels in the northern state of Kachin, where an escalating conflict has overshadowed wider political reforms.
“Our military never uses chemical weapons and we have no intention to use them at all. I think the KIA (Kachin Independence Army) is accusing us wrongly,” presidential spokesman Ye Htut said.