Alarmed over detained Daw Aung San Suu Kyis deteriorating
health, the National League for Democracy leadership said she needs more
frequent and proper medical attention.
Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 12 of the last 18 years that she has spent in Burma, needs more frequent and better medical care as her health is not what it used to be, Myint Thein, NLD spokesperson said.
We have learnt that she is not in good health. The monthly medical check-up by her family doctor, allowed by the Burmese military junta, needs to be changed to a weekly visit, Myint Thein said.
Nobel Peace Laureate Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi goes through a monthly medical check-up by her family doctor, Tin Myo Wai, at her lake side villa, on University Avenue where she has spent most of her years in solitary confinement cut from the outside world.
While Suu Kyis illness would be difficult to pinpoint, her health as well as that of Burmese junta supremo Than Shwe is critically important for the nations reconciliation process for a change over to democracy, Myint Thein added.
Because they are expected to negotiate for the country [Burma]s future they need to be in sound health, Myint Thein said.
Myint Thein, who was detained for over a month, said he is also taking rest and is under medication after his release.
Commenting on the ongoing visit of United Nations Special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, Myint Thein said besides meeting junta officials, Gambari should ensure that he meets leaders of opposition parties including ethnic leaders.
We want to urge him [Gambari] to implement what he has set out to do. We believe he will continue to strive until he achieves his goal. We also urge him to get the views of all sides, Myint Thein said.
After arriving Burma on October 3, Gambari on Sunday met the juntas Foreign Minister Nyan Win and Labour and Liaison Minister Aung Kyi in Naypyidaw. Today he met several other Burmese officials including Information Minister Lt-Gen Kyaw San.
According to the UN office in Rangoon, Gambari is scheduled to meet detained Burmese democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and junta supremo Snr. Gen. Than Shwe before leaving for New York on November 8.
Mr. Gambari is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister, other senior members of the government and the junta leadership as well as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other relevant interlocutors, said a UN office statement in Rangoon.
However, NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said they had not received any notice for a meeting with the visiting UN diplomat.
So far we have not received any notice for a meeting. And we dont know who Gambari is meeting, said Nyan Win.
Meanwhile, ethnic armed groups such as the Kachin Independence Organization expressed their desire to meet the Nigerian diplomat during his five-day visit to Burma.
Gambari should meet ethnic groups including armed groups, said James Lum Dau, Foreign Affairs in-charge of the KIO.
But so far we havent received any advice of a meeting. We
the KIO support his good work and are also keen to meet him, Lum Dau added.
Reuters: Tue 6 Nov 2007
Myanmar business tycoon Tay Za has
slammed U.S. sanctions against his airline and other businesses with reputed
links to the ruling junta, saying only the people of the former Burma would
I condemn the sanctions which will hurt the general public and have little effect on the government, Tay Za told employees and officials gathered at a Yangon hotel on Monday to mark Air Bagans third anniversary.
Air Bagan, owned by Tay Zas Htoo Trading conglomerate, is among seven Myanmar firms targeted by U.S. sanctions last month after the September crackdown on monk-led democracy protests in which at least 10 people were killed.
A Singapore newspaper reported last week that Air Bagan, which was struggling with declining passenger numbers after the crackdown, was suspending flights to the city state after Singapore banks decided to stop dealing with it.
Air Bagan Ltd is a legally constituted company with funds earned through 100-percent legitimate means and no government official or party outside the Htoo group held shares in the airline, Tay Za said.
Washington has imposed economic and trade sanctions on Myanmar for years, but last month it took aim at individuals and companies reputed to have close ties to the regime.
The Treasury Department blacklisted Tay Za, his wife and son, Air Bagan and other companies within the Htoo group on October 19. It also named Myanmar tycoons Htay Myint and Khin Shwe and their companies.
Experts say tightening the screws on the junta will only work if Myanmars regional neighbors do so too.
A top U.S. diplomat told Singapore and its banks on Monday to sever financial links with the junta, widely believed to use the city-state as its main off-shore banking centre.
We believe that there are regime officials with accounts in Singapore, senior State Department official Kristen Silverberg told reporters in Thailand during a regional tour to drum up support for a tougher Asian stance against the regime.
We hope that they ensure that their financial institutions are not being used as sanctuary for Burmese officials, said Silverberg, who is responsible for U.S. liaison with groups such as the Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN).
Despite Washingtons assertion that Myanmars generals park their cash in banks in Singapore also their favored destination for shopping and medical treatment Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong insists the financial system is clean.
We dont play dirty money. We dont
condone money-laundering, he told CNN recently.
Bloomberg via International Herald Tribune: Tue 6 Nov 2007
PTT Exploration & Production, the second-largest
natural gas producer in Thailand, may start developing five wholly owned natural
gas fields in Myanmar by March next year once it has proven that they have
The company has drilled 10 wells in its license area, known as the M9 block, and found petroleum in nine, the companys president, Maroot Mrigadat, said.
Three or four more wells are planned by January before moving to the first phase of development, which will cost at least $1 billion.
PTT Exploration is expanding outside the country to benefit from rising demand for energy, especially for natural gas.
Myanmar is the largest offshore operation for the firm. The company has exploration rights in other countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman and Algeria.
Its a good discovery,' Maroot said Oct. 31. We have explored only one third of only one block and we have five blocks. We cant explore the whole area as its huge. Our strategy is we will establish the minimum amount of reserves, so we can go ahead with the first phase,' of development.
The company plans to establish minimum reserves of 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion cubic feet, or 42.5 billion to 51 billion cubic meters, to justify a venture producing 300,000 million cubic feet a day in the first phase, Maroot said.
This is quite a good asset for the company,' said Itphong Saengtubtim, an analyst at CIMB-GK Securities in Bangkok. But, it will take at least three to four years before the production can start. The field will help PTT Exploration in long term.'
Maroot said the company has agreed to sell a 5 percent stake in all five wholly owned drilling areas in Myanmar to the Oman government to diversify its risk as the development of the area requires huge' investments. The formal agreement is expected to be signed soon.
PTT Exploration, a unit of state-controlled PTT, planned to invest 281 billion baht, or $8.3 billion, to 300 billion baht from 2007 to 2011 in exploring and developing its fields. Still, this is the minimum amount' as the company will increase the investment when it starts the development phase in Myanmar, Maroot said.
The company expects its production volume this year to fall below the target of 188,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 3 percent to 5 percent because of production disruptions at its fields in Oman and Thailand.
We are catching up,' Maroot said. The Oman field is now back to normal and we think we can meet the target for next year.'
PTT Exploration plans to produce 214,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day next year, lifted by gas output from its Arthit field, the second-largest gas deposit in the country, which will start production in February. Production has been delayed from April this year because of construction delays.
The company is grappling with rising costs and a scarcity of petroleum exploration equipment as higher prices spur drilling. It now takes 28 to 30 months to have a production platform delivered.
You need to allow more lead time for developing the projects,' Maroot said. Even though the costs go up, the economics are still good. Oil prices have risen faster than costs.'
Crude oil prices rose to a record of $96.24 a barrel in New
York on Thursday. Oil producers, including the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries, are powerless to stop prices from reaching $100 as few
countries can produce more crude, Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, Omans energy
minister, said Thursday.
The Straits Times (Singapore): Tue 6 Nov 2007
The United States has put pressure on Singapore and its
banks to cut financial ties with Myanmars junta.
However, Singapore has reiterated an earlier statement that it operates a strict regime against money-laundering and continues to support the inclusion of Myanmar as a member of Asean.
According to Reuters, senior US State Department official Kristen Silverberg told reporters yesterday: We believe that there are regime officials with accounts in Singapore.
Ms Silverberg, who is responsible for US liaison with organisations such as Asean, was speaking in Thailand during a regional tour to garner support from Asian countries for a hardline stance against Myanmar.
We hope that they ensure that their financial institutions are not being used as a sanctuary for Burmese officials, she said.
In response to Straits Times queries, a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) spokesman referred to Foreign Minister George Yeos reply to Parliament on Oct 22, where he addressed the issue of sanctions against Myanmar as well as Singapores financial links with it.
Mr Yeo had noted that MAS does not track the amount of money remitted into or out of Singapore by any country. Singapore is an international financial centre and funds can be transferred for various purposes including payments for goods and services, trades on the stock exchange, even for school fees, he had said.
Mr Yeo had said that MAS requires banks and financial
institutions to have strict procedures to monitor and report any suspicious
Irrawaddy: Tue 6 Nov 2007
The student group received a letter in reply this week, signed by Chi Chiew Sum, a special assistant to Minister of Foreign Affairs George Yeo.
The letter says: Singapore is very concern about the situation in Myanmar [Burma] and it will give full support to UN envoy Ibrahim Gambaris mission.
The process will require genuine dialogue involving all parties, including the military, Daw Aung San Suii Kyi and her National League for Democracy.
Singapore currently holds the Asean chaira geopolitical economic organization that represents 10 member states. Its annual summit will be held in Singapore on November 17-23. Burma became a member of Asean in 1997.
Soe Htun, a member of 88 Generation Students group who is now in hiding from Burmese military authorities, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday the group welcomes the positive response and for Singapores support for genuine national reconciliation in Burma.
We hope that Singapore will take the initiative to work closely with UN body and to push the government for change in Burma.
The Burmese student activists sent an open letter on November 1 to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong and Foreign Minister George Yeo, urging Asean to consider suspending the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] and enter into a meaningful dialogue with all opposition groups. The group also asked Asean countries to refrain from selling weapons and intelligence technology to the junta, since they are frequently deployed in suppressing peaceful demonstrations.
The students association also called on Asean not to support the Burmese military governments draft constitution which forms the basis of the juntas seven-step roadmap to democracy, drafted without the participation of the NLD and ethnic political parties.
The letter of reply did not comment on the student groups requests, but referred to a speech by Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo, which he delivered to a parliamentary session on Oct 22, expressing Singapores views on the situation in Burma.
The Burmese government claims to have
released more than 2,000 detainees arrested during the recent pro-democracy
demonstrations. However, it is estimated that more than 1,000 activists remain
in custody, including more than 40 members of the 88 Generation Students group,
including well-known student leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Min Zeya and Htay
Asia Times: Tue 6 Nov 2007
India has finalized a multi-million dollar project with
Myanmar aimed at boosting the economy of its underdeveloped and strife-torn
northeast region. Loose ends of the project have been tied up and a deal sealed
with the generals, even as sections of the international community call for
sanctions against Myanmars military rulers.
The Kaladan multi-modal transport project envisages connecting Indias northeastern region with the Bay of Bengal. It involves constructing roads linking the Indian state of Mizoram with Kaletwa in Myanmar, development of the Kaladan River as a waterway and improving the infrastructure of the port at Sittwe, capital of Myanmars Arakan province. Sittwe is situated at the point where the Kaladan River empties into the Bay of Bengal. The project will give goods from Indias landlocked northeast access to the sea.
The project, which India first proposed in 2003, was agreed to in principle by both sides in February. Its finalizing would not have grabbed as much media attention as it did had it not coincided with the political crisis in Myanmar.
The India-Myanmar handshake over the Kaladan project comes at a time when Myanmars military rulers are being internationally criticized for their refusal to restore democracy in the country and for their crackdown on ongoing pro-democracy protests. It comes at a time when Indias (and Chinas) economic and military support to Myanmars generals is being blamed for the juntas survival in the face of international sanctions.
It was at the height of the pro-democracy protests in Myanmar and international criticism of Indias support of the generals that Indias Petroleum Minister Murli Deora visited Myanmar, pledging an investment of US$150 million in gas exploration. Three agreements between Indias state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and its counterpart the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise were signed during the visit, providing for exploration for gas in three deep-water exploration blocks, AD-2, AD-3 and AD-9, off the Arakan coast.
Within weeks of that controversial visit, India has sealed another deal with the generals. Agreement on the Kaladan project was not easy to reach. India has been more keen than Myanmar to clinch the deal. Delhi appears to have bent over backwards to get the generals on board.
Given that India is investing heavily in the project, it wanted to retain control over Sittwe port. This was not acceptable to the generals. India subsequently agreed to hand over the port after its upgrade. Besides, the generals after initially committing to put in $10 million backed out. India has now agreed to extend Myanmar a soft loan of $10 million. Thus the project deal was done on the generals terms.
Indias interest in the Kaladan project stems from latters potential to transform the economy of its northeastern states. Once completed - it is expected to take about four years - the Kaladan project will facilitate the transport of goods by road and river from the landlocked northeastern states - the Kaladan River runs from Mizoram in India through Myanmars China and Arakan states to empty into the Bay of Bengal - to Sittwe port and from there on to markets in Southeast Asia and beyond.
The project is not the only one that India is pursuing with Myanmar with an eye on improving the connectivity of its northeast with Southeast Asian markets. India has constructed a road linking Moreh in the the northeastern state of Manipur with Kalewa in Myanmar. Called the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Road and built at a cost of $30 million, the road will eventually run up to Mandalay.
Then there is the old Stilwell Road, which runs from Assam in India through Myanmar to Yunnan in China. Vast stretches of this World War II road are in abysmal condition or simply dont exist. Efforts are on to repair and renovate the road. India (and China) are hoping that once the entire road is repaired and ready for use, Myanmar will be willing to reopen it. Stilwell Road will open Chinese markets to goods from the northeast.
There is a plan too to link by rail the northeastern state of Manipur with Myanmar. This project will involve construction of the Jiribam-Imphal-Moreh railway line in Manipur and the Tamu-Kalay-Segyi line in Myanmar, as well as repairing Myanmars existing Segyi-Chaungu Myohaung line.
With the construction of the rail line between India and Myanmar, India will be linked by rail to Southeast Asia. And since Myanmar is getting a rail link with China, to be completed in around three years, a link with Myanmar could help India reach China and then right up to Russia, Jay Prakash Batra, chairman of both the Indian Railway Board and the International Union of Railways (the Paris-based organization that works for cooperation between different railway systems), said late last year.
Indian officials point out that economic development of the northeast requires greater interaction with neighboring countries such as Myanmar. Indias northeastern region shares a 4,500 kilometer international border with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China but connects with the rest of India by a 22-kilometer strip of land called the Siliguri Corridor. Ninety-eight percent of the northeasts borders are with other countries, and only 2% with India. Improving ties with these neighbors is essential. Unlike Bangladesh, Myanmars rulers have been more willing to trade with India.
Besides, links with Myanmar are essential for India, if Delhi is serious about taking its Look East policy forward. Myanmar is, after all, Indias land bridge with Southeast Asia.
There are other reasons behind Indias courting of the generals. It is concerned with Chinas immense influence and presence in Myanmar, which has implications for Indias security. Another is to get the generals to shut down camps run by anti-India insurgent groups on Myanmars soil. India realized that its counter-insurgency operations in the northeastern states would not be effective unless it had the support of Myanmars military rulers.
There is also the question of Indias energy security. Myanmar has rich gas reserves, which India is eager to access. An Indian government official told Asia Times Online that the visit of the petroleum minister to Myanmar at the height of the protests was poorly timed but cancelation of the visit would have jeopardized Indias already tenuous relations with the generals.
Indian officials, who until recently believed that the decision of Asias largest democracy to tone down its expression of support to the pro-democracy movement and deal with Myanmars military rulers had paid off, have in recent months become more cautious in their assessment of the influence they wield over the generals.
The Sino-Indian contest for access to Myanmars gas reserves has gone in favor of China. A couple of months ago, Myanmar announced that it was withdrawing Indias status of preferential buyer on the A1 and A3 blocks of its Shwe gas fields off its Arakan coast and said it intended selling gas to China.
India is unable to match what China is willing to offer the generals - supply of whatever military equipment they demand and use of the veto in their defense in the Security Council. Over a decade after it began engaging the junta, India is still not as comfortable with the generals as China is, the official pointed out.
The limited gains wooing the generals notwithstanding, India is not about to reverse its policy of doing business with the junta. It is because India refused to engage the Myanmar generals for decades that the space in that country was left open for China to fill. A pullback now would be a repeat of that blunder, the official said.
Indian officials dismiss Western criticism of Indias Myanmar policy. India shares borders with Myanmar; the US and others do not. Their economic investment in Myanmar is limited; hence the pontification and their support for sanctions against Myanmar, the official said.
Besides, if India were to do business only with democracies, it would be hard-pressed to find suitable partners in its neighborhood.
* Sudha Ramachandran is an independent
journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.
Irrawaddy: Tue 6 Nov 2007
The Burmese military governments recent
move to expel UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Charles Petrie has proved
once again that they lack the political will to address the countrys urgent
A humanitarian disaster has been unfolding in Burma for some time; international aid agencies have been quietly passing warnings to the authorities, hoping for cooperation in order to effectively deliver aid to those in need.
According to a statement by the United Nations Country Team in Myanmar [Burma] on October 24, 2007:
Myanmars [Burmas] estimated per capita GDP is less than half of that of Cambodia or Bangladesh. The average household is forced to spend almost three quarters of its budget on food. One in three children under five are suffering from malnutrition, and less than 50% of children are able to complete their primary education. It is estimated that close to 700,000 people each year suffer from malaria and 130,000 from tuberculosis. Among those infected with HIV, an estimated 60,000 people needing antiretrovirals do not yet have access to this life-saving treatment.
The UN and other aid organizations have called on all parties in Burma not to hold humanitarian assistance hostage; but instead, the Burmese regime has imposed tighter restrictions on their activities with the intention of controlling the flow of aid and co-opting them for their own benefit (In 2006, the junta issued highly restrictive guidelines for UN agencies, INGOs/NGOs and International Organizations).
Finally, in the aftermath of the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations triggered by the fuel price hikes in August, the aid agencies could remain silent no longer
The statement by the UN country team on October 24 highlighted the fact that the basic needs of the majority of the population are not being met. It also called on the Burmese government and the international community to take the necessary action: improve the operational environment for aid agencies; increase public expenditure on health and education; and significantly scale up international assistance.
The junta responded to the statement of the UN country team in its usual mannerwith rejection, accusations, and the expulsion of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma who was himself responsible for drafting the statement.
The regimes mouthpiece newspapers, The New Light of Myanmar and Myanma Ahlin, reported that the UN Country Teams statement neglected the prevailing conditions in Myanmar [Burma] and accused superpowers of manipulating UN staff into issuing groundless statements.
The Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that the statement harms the countrys image despite its all-out cooperation with the UN, and gives the wrong message to the international community.
These responses show that the junta is determined to hold on to power at the expense of immense human suffering and that it does not have the political will to address the countrys socioeconomic issues, including the humanitarian crisis.
We are all aware that the underlying cause of all the socioeconomic woes in Burma is over 45 years of military rule, compounded by hopeless mismanagement of the economy and widespread corruption and greed.
The military leaders reluctance for change is wholly understandablethey have huge vested interests in maintaining the status quo; and they and their cronies are amassing an immense fortune out of the situation.
Any attempt to address the humanitarian crisis is doomed to failure due to an absence of political will on the juntas part. Even if the generals agree to establish a broad-based poverty alleviation commission, as proposed by UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari on his previous trip, this will not produce the desired resultsit will simply be another of the juntas showpieces for foreign and public consumption.
The only way to generate political will with the generals is to launch fundamental reforms to address the countrys urgent socioeconomic issues by hitting them where it hurtshitting their business interests hard until they realize that maintaining the status quo will no longer benefit them.
Otherwise, the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate and poverty will keep increasing. The future of Burmaalready bleakwill become bleaker.
* Lin Htet Myat, a Burmese,
currently lives in Thailand, but used to be an NGO worker in Burma
Irrawaddy: Tue 6 Nov 2007
Two years ago, at the astrologically auspicious time of
6:37 a.m. On November 6, 2005, the big move to Burmas new capital, Naypyidaw,
began, with the departure from Rangoon of a convoy of military trucks carrying
civil servants and office equipment.
The Burmese regimes unannounced decision to relocate the countrys capital to dusty Naypyidaw, in central Burma, caught the world by surprise. The Burmese people only got to know officially of the move a month or two after it had taken placefurther proof of the regimes utter disdain for its own citizens.
Was the decision to move the capital to Naypyidaw a strategic one? Or was it rooted in the paranoid military leaders fear of foreign invasion and mass uprisings? Or did Than Shwe move his power base to Naypyidaw on the advice of his chief astrologer?
For all the popular opposition to the move and the criticism of inconvenienced foreign governments and embassies, Than Shwe and his ruling junta have no reason to regret the decision to move the capital after seeing what happened on the streets of Rangoon in August and September.
Securely established in remote, strategically located Naypyidaw, far from the scene of the uprisings and anti-regime crowds, the junta were able to command and control the troops in their suppression of the monks and activists who bravely challenged their rule.
This was also a rare opportunity for Than Shwe, who is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to test his authority over the armed forces and the nerve of the command center that has been established in Naypyidaw.
If astrology was at all involved in the relocation of the capital, Than Shwe might have thought that the decision was timely.
At the time of the move two years ago, the Than Shwe familys chief astrologer is rumored to have foreseen bloodshed on the streets of Rangoon and the regime at the brink of collapse. Moving the capital from Rangoon was thus imperative.
When months-long protests in 1988 grew into a mass uprising, joined by civil servants and police officers, the government became almost nonfunctional and faced a serious breakdown.
A mass rally held near the War Office in Rangoon also touched the raw nerve of the generals who, during the crisis, slept in the fortified ministry compound in case of an emergency and bloody crackdown. A day later, on September 18, military forces violently crushed the demonstrations and staged a coup.
Nearly 20 years later, it is impossible to imagine protesting monks and citizens marching to remote Naypyidaw, let alone locating Than Shwes fortified mansion.
In the security of Naypyidaw, more centrally and strategically located than Rangoon, the generals can easily control the Shan, Karen and Chin ethnic regions, where ethnic armies are based. Moreover, just a phone call to Rangoon would now suffice to order the suppression of street protests and raids on monasteries and homes.
Sympathizers among the civil servants, now working in Naypyidaw, would be unable to show their support for the demonstrators.
The newly constructed kingdom is also a convenient location for the generals to entertain foreign guests and keep them far from real action and the spotlight.
UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has fallen victim to this tactic, which allows the junta to keep him on tenterhooks, waiting for an invitation to enter the inner sanctum of power, far from Rangoon, where the real action takes place.
Isolated from well-informed citizens, diplomats and representatives of the opposition, Gambari is virtually a hostage of Than Shwe, confined by necessity to a fruitless waiting game in Naypyidawtruly a form of capital punishment.
Two years after the relocation, the new capital has become
the perfect location for the paranoid generals to rule the country by remote
SPDC tightened security
in Shwedagon Pagoda
IMNA : Tuesday, 06 November 2007
Written by Joi Htaw
The State Peace and Development Council has tightened security in Shwedagon Pagoda following renewed protest by monks' in Pakokku.
A pilgrim who came back from Rangoon recently said, she did not understand at the beginning why the security men were following her and had tried to avoid them but she could not.
Five people in uniform were following her closely and she asked them why they were following her. They said that they had been assigned to listen to the prayers of visitors and pilgrims at the pagoda.
There were only about 20 visitors at the Shwedagon pagoda when they were there, she said after coming back from Rangoon .
It seems they will arrest people who pray for political leaders and show interest in politics, another pilgrim said.
"I want to pray without any one watching me as I cannot go very often. I wanted to pray freely," she added.
The security personnel told her they are paid for what they were doing when the pilgrim questioned them about their impolite behaviour.
The security personnel in Rangoon pagoda seem to understand not only Burmese but ethnic languages because one of the security men looked back when she muttered that one is not even free to worship at the pagoda.
Muslims detained for giving water to monks
Nov 7, 2007 (DVB)Nine Burmese Muslims from the former capital Rangoon who supported the monk-led protests in September have been arrested and charged with inciting state unrest, said family members.
Myot Thant, Nyi Nyi Zaw, Myo Win, Naing Min, Htun Htun Naing, Kyaw Kyaw Satt, Htun Myint Aung, Han Zaw Min Aung and Thaung Htut are Muslims from the Rangoon townships of Pebedan, Tamwe, Mingalar Taung Nyunt and Bahan.
They were arrested by the Burmese authorities a few days after they handed bottles of drinking water to protesting monks during the demonstrations at the end of September.
A family members of one of the detainees told DVB that all nine of them are now being held inside Pabadan police station, and their families have only been allowed to visit them once in the last month.
"They have bruises all over their bodies and said they were beaten up nearly every day during interrogation. They could not even eat properly," said the family member, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The Pabedan police chief told us they were beaten up, not by police officers from the station, but by the military security department officers who are conducting their daily interrogations."
Another family member told DVB the nine were brought before Rangoon divisional court on Monday and are now being tried on charges of provoking public unrest in the country.
Reporting by Moe Aye