Thousands flee Burma as army launches attack on ethnic rebels
Tuesday 09 November 2010
Fighting between Burmese troops and ethnic rebels sent at least 10,000 refugees spilling across the border into Thailand as the country's controversial election received further condemnation for being rigged and unfair.
More than 10 people were injured as firing between government troops and members of the rebel Democratic Karen Buddhist Army sent bullets flying on both sides of the border. Karen rebels said they had moved in to occupy Myawaddy Town, on the Thai border, to protect people it said had been threatened by the Burmese army to vote for the pro-regime Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). While clashes were intense during the day, Thai officials said the gunfire had died down by yesterday evening.
Groups representing ethnic minorities who make up some 40 per cent of the population had warned that civil war could erupt if the military tries to impose its highly centralised constitution and deprive them of rights.
Official results from Sunday's elections were kept under wraps yesterday, but political parties and independent monitors gave their own accounts of the poll, using word of mouth, text messages and Facebook to update vote tallies and report intimidation and irregularities that will further undermine the ruling junta's claims of a free and fair vote.
Not surprisingly, the USDP was heading for victory in a poll widely dismissed by Western leaders as a sham. But Facebook posts also revealed a strong showing for the opposition National Democratic Force (NDF), which broke away from the party of democracy torchbearer Aung San Suu Kyi to run.
Despite access to seemingly unlimited state resources for its campaign, the USDP still resorted to voter intimidation and coercion to ensure victory, according to independent monitors.
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...