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Shan State and Burma updates

Many of our friends in Chiang Mai come from the Shan State in south east Burma. Here are some news updates from various Burma related sites:

‘Today Shan State is already a separate country’ Monday, 14 February 2011 Mizzima News.
Lieutenant General Yawd Serk, the leader of the Shan State Army-South, talks with Mizzima. Jai Wan Mai asks him about his split with drug trafficker Kun Sa, the DKBA army, how to stop the drug trade, is the SSA preparing for war, the importance of ethnic independence and drug trafficking among cease-fire groups.

Educating the Shan: Refugees without a camp S.H.A.N
The military dictatorship which has ruled Burma almost 50 years, since a coup in 1962, has been widely criticized for frequent violations of human rights, including rape, forced labor, forced relocation and land confiscation. Many Shan people have been forced to flee to Thailand because of frequent violations of their human rights by the brutal regime.

Problems of a legal migrant worker Thursday, 27 January 2011 Mizzima News
Letter from a Burmese migrant worker in Thailand. This letter is intended to let the people know about the lives and problems of migrant workers.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s release means little to the Shan people of Myanmar and their decades-long fight for independence S.H.A.N
“I don’t believe in Aung San Suu Kyi. She’s good for the Burmese people, perhaps, but not for the Shan.” Here, on the frontline, the Burmans are seen as an army of occupation. There can be no compromise.
“They invaded our state,” the young fighter says.

Citizen diplomacy through tourism? D.V.B. 18 February 2011
The time is ripe to develop a tourism policy that benefits the people, rather than the powers that be. Nothing is permanent – even tourism and the way we travel can change.

Shan-Danu chosen as Chief Minister of Shan State S.H.A.N
Naypyitaw may have made the right decision when they chose a man approachable for all and sundry as Shan State’s chief minister on 15 February, according to sources coming from the state capital Taunggyi.

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