Monthly Archives: September 2010

First of 90 Burmese refugees arrive in Japan

Irrawaddy news, 28th Sept 2010

TOKYO —The first of 90 refugees from military-run Burma arrived in Japan on Tuesday as part of a three-year UN resettlement program, bucking Tokyo’s traditional reluctance to take asylum seekers.

Eighteen ethnic Karen — three married couples and their 12 children aged one to 15 — will be given apartments in the Japanese capital and take a six-month orientation program, with lessons on language and culture and vocational training and support in finding a job.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees hopes "Japan will set an example for other Asian countries to follow," its spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva.

The refugees are among almost 100,000 Karen staying in camps in Thailand after fleeing military repression and fighting between Karen guerrillas and the Burmese government troops over the past three decades.

Japan’s Cabinet in 2008 announced a plan to accept 90 Burmese refugees. Officials have indicated a possibility to consider widening the scope of the program if the first group resettles smoothly.

"We are determined to provide ample support for the Burmese refugees who come to live in Japan," Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara told reporters Tuesday. "There would be a trial and failure process, but we will always try to listen to them and help."

Although Japan in UNHCR’s second biggest donor after the United States, it has long been reluctant to take in refugees.

In 2009, Japan accepted just 30 refugees, including 18 Burmese nationals, while granting special permit to 501 others to stay for humanitarian considerations, according to Justice Ministry data. But even that figure was much more than previous years, amid signs it is opening up more to immigrants amid concerns over its own aging population and shrinking work force.

More than 11,000 "boat people" from Vietnam and neighboring countries arrived in Japan between the late 1970s and 2005, but most of them went on to settle in the US and other countries.

Raid on Tri-cycles in Selangor-Malaysia

source and photo from:

Ampang Selangor, 1st Sept 2010

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They are refugees and religion by Muslim. They have identity cards issued by UNHCR.

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They earn from 3 main sources;
1) by selling vegetables including thoses reject from Selayang market,
2) women and children begging simply, and
3) collecting raw materials by tri-circle.

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They are Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and they fled since about 15 years ago to avoid Myanmar military’s persecutions.
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In Myanmar, Rohingya is not recognized as an ethnic citizen and they are not belong to the country. They escaped to Malaysia through Thailand.
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They would be punished to unknown or death if they back to Myanmar.
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On humanitarian ground, Malaysia is however need to allow them temporarily until they able to back home.They are living ever indeed in Malaysia is not ending and giving birth their new generations..
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You must not wrong them with the people of Myanmar who come legally into Malaysia for works.. Relating to this, available to visit

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Behind this however, Malaysia faces unexpected problems and facts including reports of mortor-circles lost and deaths in accidence involving tri-circles.
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The truth is that they all don’t have the driving licence. Most of them living around Ampang.
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The results of repeated reports of missing of public belongings, the authorities including traffick police, municipal force and JPJ team had come finally to crack-down on them. According to report, 46 Rohingyas were apprehended and 46 tri-circles were lifted to Traffick Police of IPD-Ampang.
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The report also confirmed that the tri-circles are not their own and rented by 10-RM to 30 RM for a day.

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Five of them had found to be positive drug and one was a fake UNHCR card holder.

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Note: The original news was in Malay thus translated from possible corner..

Election Commission Disbands NLD

14th Sept 2010, Irrawaddy news,

Burma’s Union Election Commission (EC) officially announced on Tuesday evening the dissolution of 10 political parties, including the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), which is led by detained pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

The state-run radio and television announced at about 6 p.m on Tuesday that the NLD had been dissolved as it did not register as a political party for the November general election.

The dissolved parties include five parties that were previously accepted by the EC under the party registration process. The state media said the five had been dissolved for failing to complete their candidates lists in time. There are now 37 political parties that have been granted registration.

The registered parties have been told they can campaign through state-run media such as radio and television for 15 minutes each. They, however, need to inform the EC seven days in advance before running a party campaign ad.

The five previously registered parties that were dissolved were named as: the Union Karen League, the Myanmar New Society Party, the Mro National Party, the Myanmar Democracy Congress and the Regional Development Party (Pyay).

The other five parties were dissolved because they did not re-apply for registration, the Burmese media said.

The five parties dissolved for not fulfilling this obligation were named as: the NLD, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, the Union Pa-O National Organization, the Shan State Kokang Democratic Party and the Wa National Development Party.

The state media said all 10 parties in question could no longer participate in any form of political activity.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi’s NLD won the country’s last election, in 1990, by a landslide, but was never allowed to take power.

No Political Prisoners in Insein Release

Irrawaddy news, 10th Sept 2010,

Nearly 100 prisoners were released from Burma’s notorious Insein Prison on Friday afternoon, but no political prisoners were among them, sources in Rangoon said.

The international community has called for the release of all political prisoners, including pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, ahead of the country’s first election in 20 years. However, only convicted criminals, most of whom had served their sentences, were released on Friday.

“Seventy were male prisoners and the rest were female,” said a source close to prison officials. “Some of them still had a month or so of their sentences left to serve. The source said that plainclothes police authorities were documenting the release of the prisoners at the gates of the prison.

Faced with a call for the release of more than 2,000 political prisoners, the Burmese authorities routinely release convicted criminals and publicize their release in the state media.

The US and oppositions groups have said that the upcoming election in November will be void of legitimacy without the release of all political prisoners.

6 Accused in Forced Labor of 400 Thai Workers

Irrawaddy news, 3rd Sept 2010

HONOLULU — Six recruiters were accused Thursday of luring 400 laborers from Thailand to the United States and forcing them to work, according to a federal indictment that the FBI called the largest human trafficking case ever charged in US history.

The indictment alleges that the scheme was orchestrated by four employees of labor recruiting company Global Horizons Manpower Inc. and two Thailand-based recruiters. It said the recruiters lured the workers with false promises of lucrative jobs, then confiscated their passports, failed to honor their employment contracts and threatened to deport them.

Once the Thai laborers arrived in the United States starting in May 2004, they were put to work and have since been sent to sites in states including Hawaii, Washington, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, according to attorneys and advocates.

Many laborers were initially taken to farms in Hawaii and Washington, where work conditions were the worst, said Chancee Martorell, executive director for the Los Angeles-based Thai Community Development Center, which represents 263 Thai workers who were brought to the US by Global Horizons.

A woman who answered the phone at Global Horizons’ Los Angeles office refused to take a message seeking comment Thursday.

The six defendants include Global Horizons President and CEO Mordechai Orian, 45; Director of International Relations Pranee Tubchumpol, 44; Hawaii regional supervisor Shane Germann, 41; and onsite field supervisor Sam Wongsesanit, 39. The Thailand recruiters were identified as Ratawan Chunharutai and Podjanee Sinchai.

They face maximum sentences ranging from five years to 70 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

Orian wasn’t home when the FBI attempted to arrest him in Los Angeles on Thursday, and his surrender is being negotiated, said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon. Orian’s attorney, Alan Diamante, didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

Two were arrested Thursday morning in Los Angeles and Fargo, North Dakota, said Simon. Another Global Horizons employee was expected to turn himself in, and the United States will work with Thailand’s government to apprehend the remaining two suspects.

"There are more people living in forced labor today than when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As long as this is true, the FBI will continue to pursue organizations and individuals involved in human trafficking," Simon said.

Honolulu immigration attorney Melissa Vincenty said the indictment against Global Horizons is a major blow to labor trafficking nationwide.

"Global was the big fish in all of this. It’s a pretty big case, with hundreds and hundreds of workers," said Vincenty, who represents 56 of the Thai laborers. "They’re all over the United States."

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