Friday, December 14, 2007

Burmese Bloggers Without Borders

Dear Readers

Thank you for your continued support throughout the past few months.

In order to bring you updated news from inside Burma, we're consolidating our efforts, and we will now be posting news as part of Burmese Bloggers Without Borders.

Read us now at

Thursday, December 13, 2007

News from Inside Burma

Source: Nik Nayman

According to a soldier, part of a regiment on duty at one of Rangoon's universities, government agents have been compiling details of 9 university students whom they suspect have been involved in politics. They apparently took leading roles in the Saffron Revolution in September along with the monks. The agents are reported to have obtained their full names and their addresses, and investigations were still ongoing. These students are expected to be detained when they return after the vacation.

It was also reported that during the recent examinations at the same university, students who wore black were made to sign an agreement. Niknayman reported that the invigilators followed the students to make them sign the agreements, which stated that they will stop wearing black to the examination. This has left many students baffled and unhappy; they also expressed solidarity with the monks, and said they would continue wearing black or red in support of the Saffron Revolution.

In another university in Rangoon, a student was arrested last month in connection with anti-junta posters.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

New Footage on Burma's Protests

Source: Ch 4 News

New pictures reveal the scale of Burma's brutal crackdown against anti-government protestors as the UN delivers its damning report.

To view the video, please click here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Myanmar's People Rise to The Occasion

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur via Monster & Critics

If anyone deserves a Nobel peace prize this year, it's Myanmar's people and the Buddhist monkhood for daring to take to the streets against a brutish regime that has mired their country in poverty and backwardness for the past four and a half decades.

For the full report, please click here.

Laura Bush Calls fro Democracy in Burma

Source: agence France-Presse

US First Lady Laura Bush on Monday called on Myanmar's military rulers to free democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and urged the country's neighbors to pile pressure on the regime for political freedoms.

Surrounded by some of US President George W. Bush's top foreign policy advisers for Asia, Laura Bush said junta leader Than Shwe had offered "only token gestures" of reform in the face of a tightening international squeeze.

"If he and the generals are serious, they should give Aung San Suu Kyi unlimited access to the diplomatic community and other members of the Burmese opposition," she said. Washington refers to the country as Burma.

For the full report, please click here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

U.N.'s Ban Says Patience Running Out with Myanmar

Source: Reuters

The international community's "patience is running out" with military-ruled Myanmar and foot-dragging over its moves towards democracy, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on MondFay.

"I hope the Myanmar authorities will take it very seriously," Ban said during a visit to Thailand, where he urged the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which the former Burma is a member, to play a "special political role".

For the full report, please click here.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Wanted Dead or Alive: Than Shwe

Source: Ko Htike

A group of overseas Burmese have started a campaign offering a monetary reward for the assassination (or capture) of junta leader, Than Shwe.

An announcement was put up on the 5th December at Ko Htike’s blog to alert readers to the campaign. A well-known blogger who gained recognition for up-to-date news about the Saffron Revolution, Ko Htike wrote in the post that anyone who wanted to make a contribution should contact him directly.

So far, the visitors to the blog have pledged over USD 12,000. Ko Htike himself has pledged 5,000,000 kyat (~ USD 3865).

He added that an official committee will be founded to keep track of the money collected. Should Than Shwe relinquish power or die of natural causes, the money will be refunded to the contributors, or donated to charity in accordance to the wishes of the contributors.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Monks Boycott Exams

Source: Narinjara News

Many monks in Arakan State are boycotting the government exam by refusing to register their name for enrollment, in support of the monk alliance that has called for the boycott.

"Today is the last date of enrolling for the exam but many monks in Arakan State neglected to enroll their name. I heard many monks will not come to enroll for the exam," a monk from Sittwe said.

Ninety percent of monks in Arakan State are not enrolling in the exam, which will be held in March 2008, following the monk alliance's request to boycott the exam in protest of the government's recent crackdown on the recent monk-led 'saffron revolution'.

For the full report, please click here.

IMF Sees Limited Sanctions Impact on Myanmar

Source: Reuters

Tighter Western sanctions imposed on army-ruled Myanmar after its bloody crackdown on democracy protests will have little direct impact on the economy, the International Monetary Fund said in a report.

"The overall impact is limited because of restrictions already in place and because the new sanctions cover only a small proportion of trade," the IMF said in its annual review of the former Burma's economy.

For the full report, please click here.

ASEAN’s Next Chief Appeals for Greater US Involvement

Source: The Irrawaddy

The next chief of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations says that the United States remains the only guarantor of Southeast Asian security and should become more active in regional affairs.

Surin Pitsuwan, a former foreign minister of Thailand, said one reason that Washington has neglected its Southeast Asian friends is that the Bush administration has been distracted by problems elsewhere, implicitly referring to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The US also has distanced itself from Asean since military-ruled Burma joined the group in 1997.

"Anybody can argue, `Well, we are there even if not physically present. The tsunami; we provided help then.' That's true, but a tsunami doesn't come every day," Surin said on Thursday.

For the full report, please click here.

Burma: Crackdown Bloodier Than Government Admits

Source: Reuters

Arrests Continue Amidst International Inaction
Many more people were killed and detained in the violent government crackdown on monks and other peaceful protestors in September 2007 than the Burmese government has admitted, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. Since the crackdown, the military regime has brought to bear the full force of its authoritarian apparatus to intimidate all opposition, hunting down protest leaders in night raids and defrocking monks. (To watch the video, please click here).

Many more people were killed and detained in the violent government crackdown on monks and other peaceful protestors in September 2007 than the Burmese government has admitted, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. Since the crackdown, the military regime has brought to bear the full force of its authoritarian apparatus to intimidate all opposition, hunting down protest leaders in night raids and defrocking monks. The 140-page report, “Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 Popular Protests in Burma,” is based on more than 100 interviews with eyewitnesses in Burma and Thailand. It is the most complete account of the August and September events to date.

For the full report, please click here.

Burma Junta Warned of Growing Anger

Source: Financial Times

A senior United Nations official expelled from Burma this week warned on Wednesday that a “more volatile situation” lay ahead if the country’s military regime refused to recognise that recent mass protests stemmed from common people’s anger over economic woes.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Charles Petrie, who until his expulsion on Tuesday was the most senior UN official in Rangoon, warned that without substantive reforms the Burmese junta could be forced to resort to greater repression to keep control over a restive population.

“It’s very dangerous for the regime not to understand the grievances that people expressed on the streets,” Mr Petrie said. “People came out [to demonstrate] because the pain they are feeling is too much – they are suffering.”

For the full report, please follow this link:

Manila Links Suu Kyi's Release to ASEAN Ratification

Source: ABS CBN

The release of Myanmar’s opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be a key factor in the Philippines’ decision to ratify a new charter for a regional grouping, President Arroyo has said.

Mrs. Arroyo, striking a tough posture, told the Financial Times that Myanmar’s military rulers must comply with the human rights elements in the charter of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) by speeding towards democracy.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Myanmar Crackdown Death Toll Seen At Least 20

Source: Reuters

Twenty people are known to have been killed in a crackdown by Myanmar's military junta on September's pro-democracy protests, but the real toll is likely to be far higher, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Friday.

In addition to monks, many students and other civilians were killed, although without full and independent access to the country it is impossible to determine the exact casualty figures," the report said.

For the full report, please click here.

Sunflowers-Than Shwe's Latest Yadaya?

Source: The Irrawaddy

Farmers in Pegu Division, about 80km north of Rangoon, are being instructed by local authorities to grow them, in the apparent superstitious belief that the flowers symbolize long life for the regime.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Regime Asks Asean Journalists to Help Counter 'Negative' Reporting

Source: The Irrawaddy

Burma’s Information Minister, Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan, has appealed to journalists in neighboring countries to help counter negative news about events in his country.

The state-run daily, The New Light of Myanmar, reported on Wednesday that Kyaw Hsan had claimed at an Asean sub-committee meeting that “some powerful nations are misusing media as a weapon to interfere in the internal affairs of small nations.”

For the full report, please follow this link:

Chinese Military Weapons Seen En Route to Burmese Army Units

Source: The Irrawaddy

China is still providing military arms to the Burmese government, including a recent shipment of artillery cannons that were seen crossing the China-Burmese border on November 6, according to sources who observed the shipment.

A witness on the China-Burmese border told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that 21 artillery canons were seen on seven large trucks crossing through Ruili, China, and Muse, Burma, on the China-Burmese border.

For the full report, please follow this link:

UN: Impose Burma Arms Embargo to End Child Soldier Use

Source: Reuters

The United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo on Burma in response to the Burmese military government's continuing recruitment of children for its national army, Human Rights Watch said today. Tomorrow, the Security Council's working group on children and armed conflict will meet to consider a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that has found "grave violations" against children in Burma, including patterns of underage military recruitment.

"Burma's army has recruited thousands of children to fill its ranks," said Jo Becker, children's rights advocate for Human Rights Watch. "The Security Council needs to show Burma's generals that they cannot get away with such horrendous practices."

For the full report, please follow this link:

China Supplies Military Trucks to Burma

Source: Mizzima News

Several military trucks are believed to have been supplied to the Burmese junta by China. They were seen arriving on the Sino-Burmese border town of Ruili this morning, a local eyewitness said.

The light weight medium FAW trucks, manufactured by Chinese owned Tongfeng Company, were seen lining up at Ruili town, a Burmese who works at the car servicing centre told Mizzima.

"The trucks arrived this morning. They are light weight and all of them are of the same design. Since the trucks were dirty, they sent it to us for car wash," the local said.

For the full report, please follow this link:,%20Dec,%202007.html

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

US Says Myanmar Junta Obstructing Negotiations on New Constitution

Source: International Herald Tribune

The United States accused Myanmar's rulers on Tuesday of standing in the way of moving toward democracy in that Southeast Asian country by denying Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition leaders the right to help draft a national constitution.

In a prepared statement, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Suu Kyi made clear in a Nov. 8 statement from house arrest that she was "committed to meaningful and time-bound talks" with Senior Gen. Than Shwe and his junta under sponsorship of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "It is Than Shwe and his senior generals who are obstructing progress toward democratization in Burma," Casey said, using another name for the Asian nation.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Poet Arrested for Citing Poetry at Lu-Du Daw A-Mar's Birthday

Source: Nik Nayman

A well-known poet has been detained after reciting poetry at author Lu Du Daw A-Mar’s 90th birthday, according to sources in the Military Intelligence. For the sake of his career, the pseudonym of the poet cannot be published.

Other poets, hunted by junta, have reportedly gone into hiding.

One of the poets on the run said: “We were merely handing out poetry pamphlets. It wasn’t as if we were carrying out protests or using any type of force. It’s funny how they tried to hunt us down as though we’re criminals. But we wont be afraid even if we get arrested. When we’re released, we’ll carry on fighting for our people. I believe our friend in detention feels the same way.”

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Note from FP:

1.       Lu Du Daw A-Mar is known for her hard line stance against the junta.

2.       Junta is notorious for banning the works of artistes for the slightest provocation. Please refer to our earlier report ( for more details.

Chased From Streets, Myanmar Monks Get Out Message on Video

Source: Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News

Unable to speak directly to their followers in public, two senior monks – Ashin Nyanissara and Ashin Kawvida -- have recorded their sermons on a video disc titled "The end of sinful people".

In the sermon, they discuss the legend of a ruthless emperor who violated the teachings of the Lord Buddha, which resulted in him, and his followers, being sent to hell.

Ashin Nyanissara is a founder of the respected Sagaing Thitagu World Buddha University in northern Myanmar, which is popular among foreigners who come to Myanmar, the former Burma, to study the religion.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Note from FP:

1.       There are 3 sermons in total including the one mentioned in the article, all using religious legends analogous to the current state of affairs. In one of the sermons, Ashin Nyanissara speaks about a group of monkeys who, lacking intelligence, end up destroying a beautiful garden they are taking care of.

2.       Nik Nayman reported on his blog that the punishment for possessing these ‘illgal’ recordings is 6 years imprisonment.

3.       In Singapore, the sermons can be purchased at Peninsula Plaza. Each VCD costs SGD 3.00.

Father of Ashin Gambira Released from Detention

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

U Min Lwin, the father of Saffron Revolution leader Ashin Gambira, has been released from detention a week after the family told news agencies that they did not know of his whereabouts. He has reportedly been held in a prison in Mandalay for a month after being arrested on the 4th of November. He arrived home Tuesday evening.

Three other men were released along with him; they were taken into custody for allegedly helping to pass money to U Gambira.

U Min Lwin told DVB that he was informed that U Gambira was held in the notorious Insein Jail only after being released,. He declined to elaborate on his stay in prison except to say that the conditions he encountered were to be expected. He said he was happy to be reunited with his family, and hoped that the truth will help his two sons, U Gambira and older brother Ko Aung Kyaw Kyaw, who are still in detention. Ashin Gambira has earlier been charged with treason.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Junta Bans Wedding Announcement of Actor Kyaw Thu's Daughter

Source: Mizzima News

In a blatant act of vindictiveness, a wedding advertisement for prominent movie actor Kyaw Thu's daughter has been banned by the Burmese military junta's censorship board, allegedly for the actor's involvement in the monk-led protests in September.

"As for me I have been banned from all my work like acting or directing. And my name cannot be published in any of the journals or newspapers. Even to advertise my daughter's wedding I cannot include my name," actor Kyaw Thu told Mizzima.

The junta, in its effort to punish the artists, has banned all works of artists who took part in the protests. More than 20 of Kyaw Thu's films are currently banned from being released in theatres. Similarly, comedian and actor Zargarnar is also banned from performing on stage while writer Than Myint Aung is barred from using her pseudonym and writing for newspapers.

For the full report, please follow this link:,%20Dec,%202007.html

Pro-democracy Leader's Party Says Myanmar's National Prestige at its Lowest

Source: Associated Press via International Herald Tribune

The opposition party of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi marked Myanmar's National Day on Tuesday by criticizing the military government for lowering the nation's prestige.

The statement by the National League for Democracy marking the 87th anniversary of a student strike against British colonialism also called for the release of Suu Kyi — who has been detained for 12 of the past 18 years — and other political prisoners, including those arrested during anti-government demonstrations in August and September.

The statement was released at a ceremony attended by 200 supporters at party headquarters in Yangon, the first such gathering since the military junta violently cracked down on the protests, killing at least 15 people and detaining thousands, including hundreds of NLD members.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Activists to Launch 'Non-cooperation' Campaign in January 2008

Source: Mizzima News

In a well conceived plan which has to do with governmental and social boycott, a campaign of 'non-cooperation' will be begun by an unidentified Burmese activist group. It has urged all government employees to stop working and stay at home from the January 1, 2008 for a break down of the junta's governance.

With the slogan "Freedom to all on August 8, 2008", the activist group, in an email message to Mizzima said they have planned to launch the new campaign of 'non-cooperation', where they will request all government servants to defy the regime by staying at home from New Year's Day.

For the full report, please follow this link:,%20Dec,%202007.html

Japanese MP Ryuhei Kawada Releases YouTube Appeal Calls for Support for a Free Burma

Source: via Burmanet

Ryuhei Kawada, a member of the Japan’s House of Councilors (upper house), has released a video message on YouTube calling for people to join him in supporting freedom for Burma.

The video can be viewed at:

A Japanese video was also released:

In the video message, Mr. Kawada points out that Burma’s regime spends more than half of the state budget for its military, and that only a fraction of the state budget is spent on health.  Himself an HIV patient who became infected through tainted blood products, Kawada is shocked about the closure of Maggin monastery:  “These patients depended on the monastery because the military regime gave them no help.  I find it appalling that the regime would deprive these people of the monastery’s support and make them suffer more.”

For the full report, please follow this link:


Commission Calls for Full Accounting by Burma's Military

Source: Voice of America

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has called on the world to demand that the Burmese military government end its crackdown on dissidents, including Buddhist monks, in the wake of nationwide democracy demonstrations more than two months ago.

Commission vice chairman Richard Land says many questions remain about the full scope of the crackdown and what he calls the brutality of Burma's military. He refers to reports suggesting that the abuse of protesters was more brutal than initially described and that there were more fatalities, torture and arrests than reported.

For the full report, please follow this link:

U.S.-ASEAN Share Same Goal for Burma: U.S. official

Source: Mizzima News

Though tactics may differ, the United States shares the same vision for Burma as does Singapore and the ASEAN community, according to an American official.

"It is possible for partners to work perhaps with different tactics while agreeing on the same strategic objective," Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said at a press conference yesterday in Singapore following a day of meetings with Singaporean officials.

For the full report, please follow this link:,%20Dec,%202007.html

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More Bloody Confrontation Unavoidable in Myanmar: Exiled Monk

Source: Agence France-Presse

Myanmar's Buddhist monks are prepared to face another bloody confrontation with the ruling military junta if the international community fails to force the generals to accept democratic reforms, an exiled monk with links inside Myanmar said Monday.

US-based Ashin Nayaka, a key member of the International Burmese Monks Organization, said monks were a "symbol of hope" for reforms in Myanmar but were "forcibly disrobed, assaulted and killed" by the junta.

"If this continues unaddressed, further bloody confrontation is unavoidable," he told a hearing of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a non-partisan panel appointed by the US president and leaders of Congress.

For the full report, please click here.

China Dam Project a Boost for Myanmar Junta - Report

Source: Reuters

A Chinese-invested hydropower project in neighbouring Myanmar has deepened links between China and Myanmar's ruling generals and is destroying local livelihoods and the environment, according to a report released on Monday.

The Shweli dam is China's first build-operate-transfer hydropower project with Myanmar's military government, which recently crushed the biggest pro-democracy protests in nearly 20 years.

Under the agreement with Myanmar's Electric Power Ministry, China's Yunnan Joint Power Development Co are to operate the power station for 40 years.

For the full report, please click here.

Anuk Chopra: Junta Bunkers Down in Jungle Hideaway

Source: Scotsman

At first impression, Naypyidaw hardly feels like a city, but rather a series of eerie zones, carefully dispersed to isolate the different parts of the city from one another. Unlike the crumbling, colonial-era streets of Rangoon, Naypyidaw is quiet and desolate. Due to be completed by 2012, it is reminiscent of Russia's Potemkin villages, fake settlements built in the late 1700s to impress visiting dignitaries during the reign of Catherine II.

For the full article, please click here.

Asean and UN: Common Ground for Action

Source: The Nation

In Singapore last week, incoming Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan made his first comments on Burma following the endorsement of the Asean Charter at the Singapore Summit.

He said that Asean would strongly back the good offices of the United Nations through special envoy Ibrahim Gambari in solving the crisis in Burma. Surin paraphrased the views expressed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the summit he hosted, saying that even though Burma has chosen to deal with the UN, the grouping stands ready to help with the process.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Manish Bhardwaj: The Failed Saffrom Revolution

Source: The Harvard Crimson

History repeats itself not just because of short memories, but because of our instinctual self-centeredness. And since nations are but our own amplified selves, diplomacy, from America to India, triangulates for advantage first and asks questions later.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Statement of Global Alliance of Burmese Students Condemning the Crackdown of Maggin Monastery by Burmese regime

Source: Burmanet

We, Global Alliance of Burmese Students, condemn Burmese junta’s atrocious action to crack down on Maggin Monastry, in Thin Gan Gyun Township, Yangon, which is actively helping people living with HIV/AIDS by providing food, shelter, and care with great compassion . This contradicts the regime’s propaganda and restricts the development of Buddhism in Burma. Also, while the global community and international organizations such as the UN and UNAIDS are celebrating the 20th World AIDS Day on December 1st  to raise awareness of the pandemic disease in solidarity, such an act of abominable savagery can be construed as utmost insult on the global community’s noble commitment to fight against HIV/AIDS and on the civilized humanity.

We call for a stop to such brutal actions and also for a return of all properties owned by the monastery to the abbot. If the SPDC ignores our demand, it will face more pressure and protests against the regime externally as well as internally. We, Global Alliance of Burmese Students (GABS), will lead regular protests in front of Burmese embassy in Bangkok, starting December 2, coming Sunday.

Global Alliance of Burmese Students (Thailand)

Kyaw Lin Oo
Mobile Phone +66 84 107 9352

Suluck Lamubol (Fai)
Students Federation of Thailand
Mobile Phone +66 83 991 9876

Senior General Than Shwe Rumoured to be Dying

Source: The Irrawaddy

Sources in Singapore told The Irrawaddy that Senior General Than Shwe, current junta head, had in January sought treatment for cancer, and kidney problems in a hospital in Singapore. They speculate that he will die within the next few years.

The same sources said that Than Shwe was advised to undergo surgery as the illnesses he was suffering from were potentially life-threatening. He, however refused, reportedly choosing to return to Rangoon to consult with astrologers, a decision that astounded his physicians.

According to other sources, Than Shwe also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Than Shwe’s health has been steadily deteriorating in the past year, and much speculation has been going on about the possible candidates for his successor. Should he pass on while still in reign, changes in policy maybe possible, analysts say. In 1988, then supreme, General Nay Win, in a carefully planned move, handed power to trusted aides, ensuring a smooth transition (and leaving Burma in continued military rule).

In the past, General Nay Win, who ruled the country from 1962 to 1988, used to go to the UK for healthcare. However, Burma’s current leaders usually go to Singapore as sanctions prevent them from entering the US and countries in the EU.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Bertil Litner: Myanmar Back on a Roadmap to Nowhere

Source: Asia Times

With the opposition subdued and the authorities vigorously hunting down the organizers of the September demonstrations - and the international community held at bay with promises of more ineffectual talks mediated by United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari - Myanmar's ruling junta has put back on track its so-called "Seven-point Road Map" which it says will lead the country towards "national reconsolidation".

For the full article, please follow this link:

Myanmar Frees 8,500 Prisoners: Report

Source: Channel News Asia

Military-ruled Myanmar has freed more than 8,500 prisoners, state media announced Monday, but the opposition party said only 10 political dissidents were among them.

For the full report, please follow this link:

September Protests are Insignificant, says Burmese Minister

Source: Radio Free Asia

General Kyaw San, Minister of Information & Communication, said Monday that compared to the entire population of Burma, the number of people who took to the streets in August and September was insignificant.

At the news conference held in Naypyidaw, the new administrative capital of Burma, General Kyaw San pronounced the protest leaders as fake monks who were instigated by overseas dissident groups and foreign interference. He added that the government has reliable evidence to believe that these fake monks were ex-convicts who were influenced by dissident groups, and that the government had managed to take control of the situation before they could convince the public to take part.

He also told reporters that the government was going ahead with the 7-step democracy roadmap, and it will accept neither advice or help from any other organization.

Liaison Minister, Aung Kyi, told reporters that the meetings with Daw Aung San Su Kyi, the opposition leader who has been under house arrest for 12 years, showed promise, without elaborating further.

At the same conference, Chief of Police, General Khin Yi, said that the protestors aimed to topple the government. He accused a group, Forum for Democracy in Burma, of forming an alliance with dissident groups to incite the public to carry out protests. He also alleged that political activists were carrying out anti-government activities at the US embassy in Rangoon. He maintained that only 10 people were killed during the crackdown.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Comedian Zarganar Disappointed by News Agencies

Source: Dr Lun Swe

Zarganar on Saturday said that he felt let down by reporters who did not respect his requests to keep certain information from being published. He told a reporter from that certain off-the-record information he gave to reporters were published or broadcast, resulting in arrests of people whose names were mentioned. He also added that on one occasion, he had asked a news agency to keep the name of a monastery confidential, but the name was subsequently published, and this has in turn caused people to shy away from visiting the monastery, resulting in a loss of alms for the resident monks.

Zarganar, in recent days, has stopped granting interviews to most news agencies.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Burma on UN Secretary-General's Agenda during Thailand, Bali Visit

Source: The Irrawaddy

Burma and the efforts initiated by the special UN envoy for the country, Ibrahim Gambari, will be one of the major items on the agenda of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he meets with Southeast Asia leaders during the Bali meeting on climate change.

Ban is expected to use the opportunity to discuss Burma with regional leaders and the recent efforts to establish democracy, ensure human rights and speed the release of political prisoners including the democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Throughout the region, in his bilateral meetings with most heads of state and governments, the secretary-general will not talk only about climate change.  Myanmar will be an issue discussed,” said a spokesperson.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Burmese Buddhist Monks Outcasts in their Own Country

Source: The Irrawaddy

Burma is a Buddhist country. But, under this military government, it no longer offers a place or security for Buddhist monks.

This was confirmed again by the latest cruel action by the regime in closing Rangoon’s Maggin monastery and evicting its monks, lay people and the HIV/AIDS patients in its treatment center and hospice.

Among the nine evicted monks was 80-year-old U Nandiya, father of the monastery’s abbot, U Indaka, a former political prisoner detained once more in an unknown location.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Junta Pushes the 'Seven-step Roadmap' Forward Despite Flaws

Source: The Irrawaddy

The Burmese junta’s Committee for Drafting of a New Constitution has started the drafting process of the new constitution on Monday, the third step of the seven-step "Roadmap to a New Democratic State."

Observers say the junta is trying to establish its legitimacy by adhering to its road map. Fifty-four people were appointed to the committee and no completion date was announced

For the full report, please follow this link:

Junta to confiscate houses at eastern gate of Shwedagon

Source: Mizzima News

The Burmese military junta will soon confiscate houses near the eastern gate of Burma's most famous Buddhist shrine, Shwedagon Pagoda, and relocate residents, a monk in Rangoon said.

The Monk, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the junta has decided to empty the area, east of Shwedagon, and clear all residents, as many of the residences reportedly supported the monk-led protests in September.

For the full report, please follow this link:,%20Dec,%202007.html

Entertainment Industry Pressured to Condemn DASSK's Statement

Source: Dr Lun Swe

People in the Burmese Entertainment Industry were forced to attend a meeting on Sunday, during which they were made to sign a petition condemning the statement issued by Daw Aung San Su Kyi through UN Special Envoy Professor Gambari. The meeting was led by a few junta supporters with influence in the industry, including a prominent director and a producer. The petition also included content which expressed support for the public rallies advocating the junta’s roadmap to democracy. It is reported that the signed petition will be made public and a copy will be displayed at the (industry) Association’s premises.

For the original article in Burmese, please follow this link:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monks Arrested After Submitting Application Form for Exams

Source: Radio Free Asia

RFA reported Sunday that 5 monks residing in Rangoon were arrested after submitting their application forms to sit for religious exams. These monks were arrested after their photos submitted together with the forms were matched by authorities with the photos taken of the protests which occurred in September. RFA reported that the arrests have alarmed other student monks, and many were afraid to submit their applications.

The exams are slated to be held in the last month of the lunar calendar which coincides with the month of March. On the 17th of November, the All Burma Monks' Alliance released a statement urging all monks to boycott the state-run exams.

For the original report in Burmese, please click here.

Burmese Activist Solicits Help From Korean Businesses

Source: Korea Times

An activist for Burmese democratization urged Korean businessmen not to just focus on making money but to contribute to the democratization process in Burma.

"We need support from the business community, especially from Korea. If the military in Burma keeps getting money from their business partners, they will not listen to calls for democratization,'' Harn Yawnghwe, director of Brussels-based Euro-Burma, said during a press conference at the Kim Dae-jung Library in Seoul, Monday.

For the full report, please click here.

Myanmar to Try Protestors for Arson, Possession of Weapons

Source: Earth Times

Protestors who participated in the September demonstrations in Yangon will not be prosecuted if they had acted peacefully, Myanmar's top cop said Monday. "Only those individuals involved in arson or the possession of illegal weapons will be brought to trial," police chief Khin Yi told a press conference in Naypyitaw, Myanmar's new capital.

It was the government's first statement on the fate of thousands of people arrested since the anti-regime protests in Yangon, the former capital, led by Buddhist monks.

For the full report, please click here.

Gordon Brown & Nicholas Sarkozy: Time for Serious Dialogue

Source: The International Herald Tribune

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French Preseident Nicholas Sarkozy called for genuine dialogue between the military in Myanmar and opposition parties, in an opinion piece published on Saturday.

It's time the regime engages in a genuine dialogue. In this respect, the regime must remove restraints on Aung San Suu Kyi, give unfettered access to Ibrahim Gambari, the UN secretary general's special envoy, and heed the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Paul Sergio Pinheiro. And they must enter wholeheartedly into dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi as well as with other opposition groups and ethnic leaders.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Burmese Muslim Association Denouces Closure of Maggin Monastery

Source: Nik Nayman

Burmese Muslim Association released a statement on Saturday, condemning the junta for the closure of Maggin Monastery. In the statement, the Association also vowed to continue fighting for the freedom of the people of Burma.

For the original statement in Burmese, please follow this link:

Suu Kyi Must Be Released, Gambari Says

Source: The Irrawaddy

Burma's ruling military junta must release detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi if it is serious about making the democratic reforms demanded by the international community, a UN envoy said Friday.

The envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, made the comments at the end of a two-day visit to Cambodia, shortly after Burmese Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein arrived in the country. The two did not cross paths and officials said the timing of the visits was coincidental.

For the full report, please follow this link:


UN Envoy Denounces Closure of Myanmar's HIV/AIDS Monastery

Source: The Times of India

United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari has critcised Myanmar's military regime for closing down a monastery used as a hospice for HIV/AIDS patients.

"Any action that runs counter to the spirit of national reconciliation in an all-inclusive manner, any action that will inflame passions, any actions that will undermine the dialogue between the Government and those who disagree with the policies of the Government should be avoided, " Gambari said.

Gambari, the Secretary-General's Special Advisor, underscored that the UN has repeatedly called for the release of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Josh D Friedman: How the U.S. Can Bring an End to Myanmar's Crackdown on Democracy

Source: Worldpress

Washington still has a few cards that it can play: Its best hand would consist of a carrot-and-stick policy that balances the political pressure sought by Western nations with incentives for democratic reform, as advocated by Asian nations.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Top UN Official in Myanmar To Leave This Week

Source: Agence France-Presse via The Straits Times

The top UN official in military-run Myanmar is to leave the country this week after the junta refused to renew his mandate, a UN source told AFP.

UN country chief Charles Petrie 'has to leave the country on Tuesday', the source told AFP late Saturday, adding Dan Baker is currently the world body's acting resident coordinator in Myanmar.

The source declined to give further details, while Mr Petrie could not be reached for comment Sunday.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Revolution Song: To The Flying Peacocks

Written and sung by Myo Chit Myanmar

Blogger Myo Chit Myanmar has created a song echoing the sentiments of patriotic Burmese worldwide. Flying Peacocks has attempted to translate a paragraph with the permission of the songwriter.

"Our heads maybe bleeding but we will not bow down
Braving wounds, standing up (to our beliefs), our spirits will never die
The new generation of our people are forging ahead;
Rebelling against Power, fighting against Resistance, the peacocks will fly"

To listen to the song, please click here.

For the original lyrics in Burmese, please click here.

Myanmar Gets Over $750 Mil in Direct Investment

Source: Japan Today

Military-ruled Myanmar attracted foreign direct investment worth more than $750 million during fiscal year that ended March 31, 2007, according to official figures made available Wednesday. During the period, China, South Korea, Russia, Singapore and Britain invested in projects worth $752.7 million, mainly in the oil and gas sector, figures from the Central Statistical Organization said.

Four of the five investing countries went in for the oil and gas sector, accounting for more than 62 percent of investment in the year. Britain, which regularly criticizes Myanmar's junta for human rights abuses, invested $240.68 million in the oil and gas sector, followed by Singapore with $160.8 million in the same sector. South Korea and Russia invested in oil and gas at $37 million and $33 million, respectively.

Crackdown on Monastery Housing HIV Patients

Source: Ko Htike, The Irrawaddy

Monks of the Maggin Monastery in Yangon have been ordered to vacate the premises. The officials who relayed the message to the monks declined to comment, saying that they were following orders.

The monastery has been under constant watch by authorities for their involvement in the Saffron Revolution since September, and monks of the monastery, including the Abbott, remain in detention.

For the full report, please follow these links:

Myanmar Prime Minister, Un Envoy to Visit Cambodia

Source: Daily News

The Prime Minister of Myanmar and the U.N.’s special envoy to the military-ruled country will take turns visiting Cambodia this week to discuss Myanmar’s political crisis, officials said Wednesday.

Cambodian Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith declined to comment on whether the timing of the two visits was coincidental, but said that Cambodia is not playing an intermediary role in the Myanmar crisis.

After Myanmar’s September crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, Cambodia joined countries around the world in calling for the junta to halt its violence and embrace democracy.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also called for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to play a more active role in resolving the crisis.

Ibrahim Gambari, the U.N. Secretary General’s envoy, will arrive Thursday to meet with Cambodian officials, said Hua Jiang, a U.N. diplomat traveling with the envoy. The trip is Gambari’s latest tour through ASEAN nations to coax Myanmar’s neighbors to promote reconciliation between the junta and a suppressed pro-democracy movement.

Japan, Vietnam Agree to Work on North Korea, Myanmar

Source: Daily News

The leaders of Japan and Vietnam agreed Tuesday to step up efforts to ease regional concerns over North Korea’s nuclear drive and Myanmar’s crackdown on dissent.

The agreement came during talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet, who is on the first state visit from the communist country to Tokyo.

“We confirmed that we would promote our cooperation in handling the North Korea and Myanmar issues under regional and global frameworks such as the United Nations,” Fukuda said after meeting with Triet.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Monks Refuse Funeral Blessing for Militia Leader

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Local monks have refused to perform a funeral blessing for a notorious senior Swan Arr Shin member from Phaw Kan ward in Insein township who died recently.

Maung Maung, a senior leader of the pro-government militia Swan Arr Shin, was admitted to Insein hospital on 20 November after falling ill and diagnosed with malaria which had affected his brain.

For the full report, please follow this link:

UN Investigator Says Number of Political Prisoners in Myanmar Larger than Government Says

Source: Associated Press via International Herald Tribune

A U.N. human rights investigator who recently returned from Myanmar said he believes there are more political prisoners detained in the country than the government says, although he would not estimate how many.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro visited Myanmar for five days this month to look into allegations of abuse by the ruling military junta and to determine how many people were killed or detained in the September crackdown on a series of pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks.

"I don't think this number corresponds to reality," Pinheiro told an audience at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, where he is a visiting professor. "Ninety three is too low. I think it's a larger number of people continuing in detention."

For the full report, please follow this link:


Dalai Lama Condemns Myanmar Crackdown

Source: Associated Press

The Dalai Lama said Tuesday he supported the recent pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar and condemned the crackdown on the Buddhist monks who led them, saying it reminded him of China's oppression of Tibetans.

"When I saw pictures of people beating monks I was immediately reminded of inside Tibet, in our own case, where just a few days ago monks were beaten by Chinese forces," the Dalai Lama said.

"I am fully committed and I have full support and sympathy for the demonstrators," the Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters on the sidelines of the Elijah Interfaith Summit of world religious leaders in the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

For the full report, please follow this link:

UN chief will not discuss Burma with Thailand

Source: The Nation

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will not discuss Burma when he makes his first visit to Thailand next month, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Wednesday.

Surayud said the visit will concentrate on Thailand's engagement with various UN agencies rather than the Burma issue, which had already been exhaustively discussed in the UN General Assembly in New York, the Nation newspaper reported.

Ban Ki-moon will visit Thailand on December 9,10 and 11. Thailand will hold elections for a return to civilian rule on December 23.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Over 5,000 Sign Petition to Counter Myanmar Junta

Source: Japan Economic Newswire via Burmanet

A group of people from Myanmar submitted a petition with 5,205 signatures to the United Nations Center for Regional Development in Nagoya on Wednesday, asking the international body to persuade the military government to stop suppressing demonstrations and to free democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

The signatures are addressed to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and will be sent to the United Nations Information Center in Tokyo.

“Strong pressure from the international community is mandatory to change the stance of the military government which is vigorously clamping down on people,” said Aung Aye Win, 43, a leader of the League for Democracy in Burma in Japan.

The group members collected the signatures in streets in Nagoya and other places in Aichi Prefecture since late September.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Combat Training Held in Monastery Compound

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Authorities in San Dway township, Arakan state, have reportedly been conducting combat training inside a monastery compound, according to a San Dway resident, speaking on condition of anonymity.

About 60 people, including government employees, manual labourers and trishaw drivers, took part in the exercise, which began ten days ago and was due to run for 30 days in total.

Police and volunteer firefighters have conducted the training, which has focused on riot control, basic combat skills and use of shields and sticks as weapons.

The training has angered local residents because it is taking place inside a local monastery in Lay Myat Hnar pagoda compound, even though monks are still living at the monastery and the grounds are in public view.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Amnesty International Condemns Continued Arrests in Myanmar

Source: Amnesty International

Amnesty International condemns the new arrests of political activists inside Myanmar, despite the commitment by Prime Minister Thein Sein to the U.N. Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari in early November that no more arrests would be carried out.

Amnesty International is deeply disappointed by the fact that these arrests are still taking place despite the government's promises to the contrary. Just last week, the Myanmar government attended ASEAN's 40th Anniversary Summit, where it signed the organization's new Charter committing it to the "promotion and protection of human rights". To date, up to 700 people arrested during and since the September protests remain behind bars, while 1,150 political prisoners held prior to the protests have not been released.

For the full report, please follow this link:

BBC Burmese Service: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wins Lifetime Achievement in Politics

Source: BBC Burmese Service via Burmanet

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been awarded a Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in Politics by the Political Studies Association, PSA of the United Kingdom.

The awards are given at the Institute of Directors in London. Zoya Phan of Burma Campaign UK recieved the prize on behalf of her since she is under house arrest.

The prize is to mark the achievements of politicians, academics and journalists during 2007.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Missing: The Father of Sangha Leader Ashin Gambira

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

DVB reported on Tuesday that the father of Ashin Gambira, who was arrested early this month, has been detained after trying to see his son in prison on the 12th of November. Subsequently, the family has had no news of him.

The mother of the monk told DVB that on the 16th of this month, the family was able to pass some packages to U Gambira, his father U Min Lwin, and his elder brother Ko Aung Kyaw Kyaw, who were believed to be held in Insein Jail, but were not allowed to meet the detainees.

On the 22nd, the family received news that they were allowed visits with the detainees. However, when they finally arrived in Rangoon on the 23rd, from their hometown MeiTiLa, prison officials informed them that U Min Lwin was not being held in Insein Jail.

The detainees have since been allowed another visitation session with the family, but only one of the daughters who is based in Rangoon, was able to go. As of Monday, the family in MeiTiLa, has yet to receive any news from her.

Daw Yay, the mother of U Gambira, told DVB that she was worried for her 70 year old husband who has only recently recovered from a stroke. However, she added that she was proud of her son's role in the protests, as he was acting on behalf of the people, without any self-interest whatsoever.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Burmese Gems Auction Takings Drop

Source: Irrawaddy News

More than 2,000 foreign merchants attended Burma's major gems auction, state-media reported on Tuesday, despite international calls to boycott the sale after the military junta's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in September.

The auction ended Monday after more than 3,500 lots of precious stones were sold, the New Light of Myanmar said, but did not report how much money was made.

The amount of money was not revealed because it was much lower than in previous years, said an official at the state-run Myanmar Gem Enterprise on condition of anonymity for fear of official reprisal.

For the full report, please click here.

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