(Interview) – Phyo Phyo Aung, a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), was arrested while helping villagers in the cyclone-hit delta in 2008. She was released from Mawlamyine Prison in Mon State on Wednesday under Burma’s presidential amnesty. Phyo Phyo Aung and her father Dr. Nay Win had cremated cyclone victims in devastated areas in Bogale Township in Irrawaddy Region in June 2008 and when they returned from Bogale to their home in Rangoon, they were arrested by a Military Affairs Security Unit. Her colleagues Shein Yarzar Tun and Aung Than Zin Oo were also released from Taungoo Prison in Pegu Region and Bhamo Prison in Kachin State respectively on Wednesday. They were sentenced to four years under the Association Act. They served three years and four months. Mizzima correspondent Phanida interview Phyo Phyo Aung about her political views and the condition of women in Mawlamyine Prison.
The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) Executive Director Aye Chan Naing and Assistant Executive Director Khin Maung Win have temporarily resigned from their posts while police in Norway are investigating the loss of around US$ 300,000 (300 million kyat) in the Norway-based organization. Acting Executive Director Harn Yawngshwe said, “This embezzlement mainly took place in the Mae Sot, Thailand, DVB branch.” Mizzima reporter Kyaw Kha interviewed DVB Mae Sot-based branch In-charge Ko San a.k.a. Aung Tun, one of the founders of the Mae Sot branch, started in 2006. He is also one of the members of the Burma VJ [Video Journalist] network.
(Interview) – Despite President Thein Sein’s decision to halt the Myitsone dam project, National Democratic Force member Bauk Ja said that she would sue China Power Investment Corporation for losses and damages on the project.
(Interview) – In early September, Dr. Andrea Valentin accompanied a Thailand-based organization dedicated to promoting community projects in Southeast Asia and gave a series of workshops on responsible tourism and how to address both positive and negative impacts in Burma. She spoke to representatives from the government’s Ministry of Tourism in Bagan, and to members of the National League for Democracy at their headquarters in Rangoon.
(Interview) – The chairman of the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA), which conducted a study of the ecological and environmental impact of the Myitsone Dam project, has urged the Burmese government and Chinese company behind the project to allow the study to be made public. Under an agreement, BANCA does not have the authority to release the study, he said. BANCA studied the ecological and environmental impacts on the Irrawaddy valley for five months. A portion of the study was submitted to a government workshop in Naypyitaw on September 17. Mizzima reporter Tun Tun interviewed Htin Hla on the study and its findings.
(Interview) – Fifty-five prisoners in a Burmese government labour camp in Muse in northern Shan State were set free by soldiers of the Kachin Impendence Organization 4th Brigade of the 9th Battalion on Wednesday. According to KIO spokesman La Nang, soldiers were passing near the Shwe Pyi Thit labour camp when prison guards shot at them, forcing the Kachin rebels to respond. The incident occurred on September 21 (the International Day of Peace). Meanwhile, the Burmese government is preparing a major offensive against the KIO. Mizzima reporter Phanida talked with La Nang about the incident and the government’s offensive.
In Amyotha Hluttaw, the House of Nationalities, session held on 30 August, 2011, in Naypyidaw, a proposal to form a "Permanent Peace Committee" was put forward by a USDP representative from Kachin State in order to build perpetual peace and stability. However, Dr. Aye Maung, a representative from the First Congressional District of Arakan, pointed out that a permanent peace committee is not enough to create peace in Burma. He suggested that a commission like a "Forever Peace Commission", with the most respected and trusted persons, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is needed. When asked why Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is needed to be in the commission, Dr. Aye Maung, who is also a chairman of the RNDP, answered as follows.
(Interview) – A Burmese exiled activist cum economist Zaw Oo attended the three-day Economic Forum in Naypyitaw on August 19-21, where he read a paper. President Thein Sein, the former prime minister who now leads the military-dominated, nominally civilian government, also attended. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the general-secretary of the disbanded National League for Democracy, also attended the forum, after meeting with Thein Sein the day before.
(Interview) – Burmese President Thein Sein recently encouraged Burmese exiles to return home. One of his presidential advisers says Parliament will pass a bill to implement the offer. Mizzimacorrespondent Tun Tun asked Ko Ko Hlaing, a presidential adviser, how the amnesty offer will work. Ko Ko Hlaing explained that all exiles could return and no one would be punished except people who have committed criminal offenses, and he described other aspects of the bill to be introduced in Parliament.
(Interview) - In a speech delivered in Naypyitaw on Wednesday, President Thein Sein said that organizations and people in exile could come back home by contacting their state or regional governments. Mizzima reporter Ko Wild interviewed exile-based political activists on their opinions on the president’s call.
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