Thursday, June 16, 2011

Currency crisis hits Burmese remittances Currency crisis hits Burmese remittances

15 June 2011
Burmese kyat has siginificantly strengthened in recent months (DVB)
Remittance services used by thousands of Burmese abroad are grinding to a halt following a recent drop in circulation of the Burmese currency, the kyat.
Money is regularly sent by relatives abroad to families in Burma via an of informal value transfer system known as the hundi, which often acts as a lifeline for citizens of Southeast Asia’s poorest country. The World Bank estimated that in 2008 alone, remittances totalled $US150 million.
But a strengthening of the kyat has meant that the flow of money to families inside Burma has dramatically slowed, from a normal one-day transfer period to up to three days depending on the location of the sender.

Thai police rescue 52 kidnapped Burmese

 16 June 2011
Thai police and anti-trafficking officials yesterday carried out a raid on a human trafficking racket in western Thailand that had demanded hefty ransom fees in return for the release of 52 kidnapped Burmese migrants.
An investigation into the racket, led by three Burmese and five Thai nationals, began when the mother of one of the migrants contacted the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB), a non-governmental group that monitors conditions for Burmese in Thailand.
She said that kidnappers had demanded 18,000 Thai baht ($US590) each for her daughter and son-in-law; if she failed to pay, the kidnappers would kill the son-in-law and sell the daughter on to a prostitution ring. When police raided the house in Suphan Buri province yesterday, they found 24 women and 28 men, all Burmese, also detained there.

Chinese dam workers evacuated by Kachin Army

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:29 Kachin News Group News - Kachin 
About 300 Chinese dam workers, who seemed to be hijacked by the Burmese Army in the war zone at the Taping Hydropower Project, were evacuated to the China border today by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), sources close to the Chinese workers said.
After nearly two hours of fighting between the (KIA) and Burmese Army at the Taping dam project in N’mawk (Momauk) Township, in Manmaw (Bhamo) District, eastern Kachin State, Chinese workers were evacuated to the China border by KIA soldiers, according to Chinese authorities on the border.