Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shibly Nabhan: Soft Touch With Myanmar

Source: The Japan Times

Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint recently sent a three-sentence letter to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), addressed to the family of Kenji Nagai, the journalist whose murder in Yangon had been telecast around the world. The scene of him on the ground with a mortal wound, still trying to film while a military goon faced him with a rifle, is not easy to forget.

Myint may have made this vicious tragedy even worse with evasive euphemisms like "I humbly share your grievances as you lost your son unexpectedly." When a military regime sends troops to open fire on demonstrators and visiting reporters, it should hardly be "unexpected" that people will die.

For the full article, please click here.

Myanmar Families Search for Missing Loved Ones

Source: Agence France-Presse via Hindustani Times

Myanmar's notorious Insein prison is a place few people visit voluntarily but Maw Maw hoped she might find her nephew who disappeared during the junta's crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

She was among a group who came to send parcels to relatives held in the vast old British-built colonial prison outside Yangon.

For the full report, please click here.

Burmese Opposition Radio Reports Shuffling of Prisoners During UN envoy’s visit

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma via Burmanet

About 140 long-term convicts in Tharawaddy Prison, Pegu Division, were released on verbal orders this morning, according to sources close to the prison. None of the freed convicts were political prisoners.

Among those released at around 10 this morning were about 40 female and 100 male prisoners who had been imprisoned on narcotics charges.

For the full report, please click here.

US to Discuss Trade, Myanmar With ASEAN

Source: Associated Press via Forbes

A U.S. envoy will discuss trade issues with Southeast Asian economic ministers gathering in Singapore next week, and also urge the region to pressure military-ruled Myanmar toward democracy, the U.S. Embassy said Friday.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab arrives in Singapore Sunday for a two-day visit to meet with economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a regional grouping starting its annual summit Monday in Singapore.

"ASEAN countries together are our fifth largest trading partner, and Southeast Asia is one of the most rapidly growing, economically vibrant regions in the world," Schwab was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in the city-state.

For the full report, please click here.

Laura Bush Urges Boycott of Burma Gems

Source: Yahoo News

Laura Bush, the wife of the US president, urged jewellers in the US and other parts of the world to boycott gems that come from Burma.

"Every Burmese stone, bought, cut polished and sold sustains an illegitimate, repressive regime," Laura Bush said in a statement timed to coincide with the opening of a gem show in Rangoon, Burma's largest city.

For the full report, please click here.

UN Envoy Gets Myanmar Casualty Evidence

Source: The Examiner

At least 15 people died in Myanmar's biggest city when the military crushed September's pro-democracy demonstrations, five more than the government has acknowledged, according to a U.N. human rights investigator Friday.

The U.N.'s Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told a news conference that the figure, based on post-mortems and other official information, was not necessarily complete and he did not know how many other people may have been killed elsewhere in the country.

For the full report, please click here.

US Lawmakers Urge ASEAN to Suspend Burma From Group

Source: Voice of America

The U.S. Senate has voted unanimously on a resolution urging Southeast Asian leaders to suspend Burma from their regional group, following the country's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations.

The resolution adopted Friday calls on the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, to consider disciplinary measures, including suspension, until Burma's military government demonstrates an "improved respect for and commitment to human rights."

Earlier Friday, Human Rights Watch called on ASEAN to impose an arms embargo and other targeted sanctions on Burma's government. The group also expressed concern that a landmark charter to be signed by ASEAN members next week lacks a clear mechanism to take action against states like Burma.

For the full report, please click here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Six Political Prisoners, 75 Others Freed After UN Rights Expert Leaves Burma

Source: Mizzima News

In what seems to be a sign of slowly relenting to the onslaught of the United Nations and the international community, the Burmese military junta on Thursday released 75 detainees including six political activists. The release comes in the wake of the departure of UN rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro after a five-day probe into the junta's repressive handling of the protests by monks and the people.

The six activists – Tun Lin Kyaw, Thet Naung, Phone Aung, Ma Yi Yi Win, Thein Naing Oo, and a sixth who is still unidentified – were freed along with 69 other detainees on Thursday afternoon, after the Human Rights expert Paulo Sergio Pinheiro concluded his trip to Burma.

For the full report, please click here.

Myanmar Promises 'Positive, Pragmatic Measures,' China Says

Source: Earth Times

Myanmar's ruling junta has promised a Chinese envoy that it will take "positive and pragmatic measures" to speed up its "road map" towards democratic reform, state media said on Friday. Myanmar's top military leader, Senior General Than Shwe, and other officials briefed China's special envoy, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the government's official Xinhua news agency reported from Yangon.

"The Myanmar side briefed the special envoy on its domestic situation and reaffirmed that they will, according to the will of the Myanmar people as a whole, take positive and pragmatic measures to accelerate the seven-step road map," the agency said.

The Myanmar leaders also "assured the Chinese side that they will continue to make every effort for the maintenance of stability, economic development, advancement of democracy and the improvement of the people's livelihood", it said.

Wang met Than Shwe in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.

For the full report, please click here.

ASEAN Can Help Myanmar in Peaceful Transition to Democracy: Philippines

Source: Channel News Asia

The Philippine Foreign Secretary, Alberto Romulo, is optimistic that ASEAN will be able to exert its influence on Myanmar, and help the nation to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy.

"The Philippines hopes that the signing of the ASEAN Charter in Singapore will finally compel Myanmar to actually implement its long-delayed roadmap to democracy," said Mr Romulo.

The Foreign Secretary pointed out that the ASEAN charter may lose its significance if the grouping is unable to bring errant members into line.

For the full report, please click here.

Civil Servants Transferred Out of City for Offering Water and Food to Protesting Monks

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Chauk, MaGuay State: A source told DVB that civil servants who offered water and monks to protesting monks have received outbound transfers to provincial towns.

There were reportedly about 10 civil servants who have been transferred to out-of-the-way towns with poor access. The source added that the families of these civil servants were facing difficulties relocating.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Monk Held After Monastery Raid

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

A monk was beaten and taken from his monastery when government officials and supporters raided a monastery in New Dagon township yesterday, according to a local source.

Around 150 Union Solidarity and Development Association members, township Peace and Development Council officials and police officers raided Aung Dhamma Pala monastery in eastern New Dagon township, according to a local source close to the monastery.

One monk, U Sanda Wara, was beaten up and taken from the monastery, which was then ransacked by the officials.

For the full report, please click here.

Burma's Picture of 'Normalcy' Presented to UN Envoy

Source: Irrawaddy News

For the past few days, Burma’s military regime has yet again proved its mastery at conjuring up an image of normalcy when an important visitor is in town.

But the drama played out for United Nations human rights envoy Paulo Sergio after he touched down in this commercial centre on Sunday has nauseated and angered the monks and ordinary people who have been at the receiving end of the junta’s extreme repression.

As accounts of deception made their way across Rangoon, they prompted a reaction of cynicism and anger. ‘’The military government is like a sore on our body. It doesn’t give us any good thing. It badly infects the whole body,’’ a 26-year-old Buddhist monk told IPS. ‘’Only the UN and international pressure can cure that sore, I think.’’

For the full report, please click here.

Pinheiro Determines Death Toll in Burma Crackdown

Source: Irrawaddy News

A UN investigator said Friday his five-day mission to Burma enabled him to determine the numbers of people killed and detained in the government's September crackdown on protesters, but that he would not immediately reveal details.

UN human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said he would report the figures only after drafting a formal report on his trip. He said he would present his findings to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on December 11.

"I'm compiling the documents. In two weeks I will have this number," Pinheiro told reporters in Bangkok, where he flew Thursday from Burma.

For the full report, please click here.

China Blocks UNSC Presidential Statement on Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

The US on Thursday alleged that China blocked the issuing of a presidential statement on Burma at the UN Security Council.

Led by the US, a majority of the countries in the 15-member Security Council had favored issuing a presidential statement after closed door consultations on Tuesday and a briefing on the Burmese issue by Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Special Envoy on Burma.

A presidential statement—though not legally binding, unlike a resolution—can only be issued with a consensus, meaning that all members of the Security Council have to agree on it and its content. China opposed issuing a presidential statement on Burma, which would have been the second one in a little over a month.

“We were disappointed by their (China’s) unwillingness to support a PRST (presidential statement). They were only willing to support a statement. We worked hard to persuade them to go for a PRST, but they did not cooperate,” the US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad said.

For the full report, please click here.

Dhamma VCDs by Two Well-known Monks Banned in Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

Dhamma VCDs by two of Burma’s respected senior monks, which are interpreted as critical of the junta’s brutal crackdown on the monk-led demonstrations, have been banned by authorities, according to Rangoon sources.

For the full report, please click here.

US to Discuss Trade, Burma, with Asean in Singapore

Source: Irrawaddy News

A US envoy will discuss trade issues with Southeast Asian economic ministers gathering in Singapore next week, and also urge the region to pressure military-ruled Burma toward democracy, the US Embassy said Friday.

For the full report, please click here.

UK Lawyers, Parliamentarians Appeal on Behalf of Detainees

Source: Irrawaddy News

The UK-based Burma Justice Committee—comprised of lawyers, parliamentarians and other representatives—officially raised appeals on Thursday to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calling for assistance on behalf of the three latest detainees in Burma.

The three activists most recently arrested by the Burmese authorities were apprehended while handing out anti-regime pamphlets at the busy Thiri Mingalar fruit and vegetable market in Rangoon on Wednesday.

For the full report, please click here.

ASEAN Leaders Hope for Myanmar Progress

Source: Daily News

Southeast Asian leaders will seek to capitalise on signs of progress in Myanmar at their annual summit next week, hopeful their controversial engagement of the junta is finally paying off.

ASEAN leaders, celebrating the group’s 40th birthday in Singapore, are planning to sign a landmark charter promoting human rights and tackle climate change at the talks, but the world is waiting to see how they handle Myanmar.

“The international community will be watching the summit,” Hiro Katsumata, an analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told AFP. “Right now, ASEAN does not look good in the eyes of the international community.”

For the full report, please follow this link:

China says Myanmar Should Not Be "Another Iraq"

Source: Reuters

China does not want Myanmar to become "another Iraq", a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday, stressing his country's opposition to sanctions as a way of seeking reform in the troubled Southeast Asian nation.

Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei said Myanmar was now headed in the right direction in the aftermath of mass protests demanding democracy and then a harsh wave of arrests.

China believed stability was paramount for Myanmar to achieve "democracy and economic development", the senior official said.

"We cannot permit Myanmar to fall into chaos, we cannot permit Myanmar to become another Iraq. No matter what ideas other countries have, China's stance on this is staunch."

For the full report, please follow this link:



Invitation: Overseas Burmese Patriots - Singapore Charter

An indoor forum will be held this weekend in Singapore to discuss the current crisis in Burma. The results of this discussion will be submitted to the ASEAN Summit to be held from 19th to 23rd November.

Everyone is welcome.

Date: 17th November 2007 (Saturday)
Time: 5.00 to 8.30pm
Venue: Excelsior Hotel, 5th Floor

1. Registration will commence at 4.30pm.
2. Please come dressed in red.
2. Please refrain from taking pictures.

Burma Justice Committee Presents Petitions to The United Nations

Source: The Burma Campaign UK

The Burma Justice Committee was launched Thursday in the House of Lords. The Committee has been formed against the backdrop of continuing human rights abuses within Burma, as the military junta continues to repress anyone who questions their regime. Following the recent uprisings in protest at the doubling of fuel prices, many have been killed, imprisoned, and beaten by representatives of the junta.

The Burma Justice Committee will work for the restoration of the rule of law within Burma, and will fight against the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens. Comprised of lawyers, parliamentarians and other representatives, the Committee has today presented petitions to the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, on behalf of [three] Burmese currently detained by the Junta.

For the full report, please follow this link:



Gem Dealers Push to Ban Myanmar Rubies after Bloody Crackdown Has Them Seeing Red

Source: Associated Press via International Herald Tribune

Myanmar rubies are indisputably the world's finest, but their rich red hue is reminding an increasing number of international gem dealers of the bloody suppression of democracy advocates by the generals running the Southeast Asian country.

The military's most recent crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar, beginning in September, has renewed calls to boycott precious stones exported and smuggled out of one of the world's top gem producers.

"There is a growing awareness that it is a fascist regime," said Brian Leber, a third generation American gem dealer pushing for a boycott of "blood rubies."

For the full report, please follow this link:



ASEAN Charter Doesn't Solve Burma Problem


Southeast Asian nations plan to sign in Singapore next week a charter aiming for lofty goals in areas such as free trade and human rights, even as the 40-year-old group wrestles with how to handle the divisive issue of Burma (Myanmar).

The West has urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to put more pressure on Burma’s military junta after its crackdown on pro-democracy protests, but the group’s principle of noninterference in each other’s internal affairs is likely to prevail.

For the full report, please follow this link:

14 S Koreans Convicted of Exporting Weapons Technology to Myanmar

Source: The Times of India

Fourteen South Koreans were convicted on Thursday of illegally exporting weapons technology and equipment to Myanmar and other related charges, a court official said.

The Seoul Central District Court fined Lee Tae-yong, a former head of Daewoo International Corp, USD 54,550 for violating laws on exports and technology leaks, according to court official Park Hyun-ju.

The other three men received suspended prison terms of between two and three years for related charges such as illegally obtaining strategic technology from a government-run think tank, she said.

For the full report, please follow this link:,prtpage-1.cms

Matthew Smith: The Politics of Doing Business With A Brutal Regime

Source: Bangkok Post via Burmanet

First, Burma has resources everyone wants. Financial incentives created by the rising cost of oil and regional energy demands have so far trumped ethical challenges to the corporations, even amidst nationwide manhunts, the killing of pro-democracy protesters, and direct human rights and environmental impact from previous natural gas projects. There’s money to be made and economies to expand, notably those of India, China and Thailand, Burma’s largest trading partners.

Second, most corporations prioritise one legal duty above all others, and that is to maximise profit for their shareholders. If backing a murderous junta is profitable, then corporations like Daewoo and Chevron will do this in service to their bottom line.

For the full article, please follow this link:

Burmese Junta Holds Gem Stone Auction

Source: The Telegraph

The Burmese junta has begun an auction of gem stones that it hopes will attract 2,000 foreign buyers and raise £150 million.

The sale comes as the generals continue to defy international calls for reform following their recent violent action against pro-democracy demonstrators. Three activists were arrested on Wednesday as they distributed leaflets at a Rangoon market.

For the full report, please follow this link:;jsessionid=N1WZCTSBPG1MDQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/11/15/wburma115.xml


DJ to Call for 'Myanmar Democratization'

Source: The Korean Times

The Kim Dae-jung Peace Center will host an event, dubbed the “Evening for the Democratization of Burma,'' next month to support the peace movement in Myanmar.

To commemorate the seventh anniversary of former President Kim's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the event will be held at the 63 Building in Yeouido, Seoul, Dec. 4.

A Kim Dae-jung Peace Center official said the meeting is aimed at denouncing the armed repression of the people's movement for democratization last September and giving aid to Myanmar's people.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Myanmar Junta Thinks Country has Democracy, Ong Says

Source: Bloomberg

The government in Myanmar, under fire for a crackdown on democracy protests in September, believes it is governing democratically and respects human rights, Asean Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong said.

“As far as they are concerned, they believe they have democracy and human rights,” Ong told reporters in Singapore ahead of next week's Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. “What they don't want to see is someone else's rule of law and democracy'' from a “Western liberal world'' point of view, Ong added.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Sudarsono Says Elections in Myanmar Wouldn't Reduce Army's Role

Source: Bloomberg

Indonesia's Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said forcing Myanmar to hold elections wouldn't reduce the role of the military, even as the United Nations asked the ruling junta to agree to a timetable for political change.

The world can't force a system ``that is alien to the local culture,'' Sudarsono, 65, said in an interview in Jakarta. ``For all its faults, the military at the moment remains the unifying force and covers most of the levers of power, political, economic and also cultural.''

For the full report, please follow this link:


Kyi May Kaung: Burma Post- Clampdown: What Should Be Done?

Source: The American Prospect

There are many reasons why Gambari, or Suu Kyi, for that matter, has not been seen smiling in recent news photographs.

For the full report, please follow this link:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Indonesia Expects Myanmar to Respect ASEAN Charter

Source: Reuters

Military-ruled Myanmar will be expected to uphold commitments to democracy and human rights included in a Southeast Asian charter set to be signed next week, an Indonesian presidential spokesman said on Thursday.

Myanmar and Indonesia alongside other countries in the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are due to sign the charter on November 20 at a meeting in Singapore.

The charter should transform the association into a regional body and give it a legal identity, with an emphasis on progressive values including democracy and human rights, spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told reporters.

"The countries who sign this charter are expected to uphold and apply the values mentioned in the charter, including Myanmar."

For the full report, please click here.

U.N. rights Envoy Fails to See Top Burmese Dissident

Source: Reuters

The U.N.'s rights envoy to Myanmar said he failed to meet top dissident Min Ko Naing in Yangon's notorious Insein Prison on Thursday, the final day of a visit to probe September's bloody crackdown on democracy protests.

Apart from failing to see Min Ko Naing, Pinheiro said, his request to see detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had also been refused.

For the full report, please click here.

Burma State Constitution Drafting Commission to Meet for First Time

Source: People's Daily

Myanmar's newly formed 54-member State Constitution Drafting Commission will meet for the first time in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Dec. 3 to coordinate matters relating to the drafting of a new state constitution, the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Thursday.

The constitution drafting commission was formed by the State Peace and Development Council on Oct. 18 with Chief Justice U Aung Toe as Chairman and Attorney-General U Aye Maung as Vice-Chairman. The remaining members mainly include two ministers -- Information Minister Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan and Cultural Minister Major-General Khin Aung Myint and some legal experts.

For the full report, please click here.

Ethnic Ceasefire Groups Told to Sign Statement against Suu Kyi

Source: Irrawaddy News

The Burmese government has coerced several ethnic ceasefire groups and other ethnic parties to sign a written statement saying Aung Suu San Kyi’s has no leadership role among ethnic nationalities, according to reliable sources.

State-run newspapers have recently run statements from several ethnic groups' which are critical of Suu Kyi. Observers say the statements are an effort to drive a wedge between pro-democracy groups and ethnic groups.

For the full report, please click here.

Su Su Nway on Hunger Strike

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

Sources told DVB that anti-junta activist Su Su Nway is currently on hunger strike in custody. She was arrested on Tuesday for putting up anti-government posters at the MyaYeikNyo Hotel in Bahan Township. Along with her, NLD member Bo BO Win Hlaing, and the driver of the taxi she was riding in, were also taken into custody.

The taxi driver has been identified as a 60 year old man named U Khin Soe. The taxi has also been impounded, said a source close to the family.

A fellow taxi driver told DVB that the man has never been involved in the politics, and that on that day, the taxi has been hired by Su Su Nway to go to the airport. When the taxi stopped at MyaYeikNyo, a scuffle has broke out at the hotel, and he was instructed to drive off. He was arrested the next day on his way home.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Monk Says Burma Regime Is Worse Than Saddam Hussein's

Source: ABC News

ABC News Exclusive: Jim Sciutto Talks to Dissidents in Closed Country

In public, the monks appeared peaceful. But in private, they seethed with anger.

"We are very unfortunate having this regime," said one monk. "This regime is the worst regime in the world, worse than Saddam Hussein."

Hundreds of this monk's fellow brothers are now missing. Some fled the government crackdown, retreating to their homes. Many others were imprisoned far away in the countryside, far from the public eye.

For the full report, please click here.

UN human rights envoy ends Myanmar visit

Source: China View

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro left here Thursday evening after winding up his five-day mission.

Briefing the press before his departure at the Yangon International Airport, Pinheiro said he mainly visited the Insein prison in Yangon on Thursday, and got access to some prisoners.

He expressed satisfaction over Myanmar government's cooperation with his trip.

For the full report, please click here.

UN Human Rights Investigator Meet Prominent Burmese Political Prisoners

Source: Associated Press via PR Inside

UN Human Rights investigator, Pinheiro on Thursday went to Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, where he was able to talk with several political detainees, including labor activist Su Su Nway, who was arrested Tuesday, he told a news conference at Yangon's airport.

He also met with 77-year-old journalist Win Tin, held since 1989, and members of the 88 Generation Students group, who have been especially active in nonviolent anti-government protests in recent years.

Pinheiro did not reveal details of their conversations.

Leading Monk Charged with Treason

Source: Irrawaddy News

A 29 year-old leading monk in the recent mass demonstrations, U Gambira, has been charged with treason by the Burmese junta, according to his family. The punishment for high treason in Burma is a life sentence or death.

His mother told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that authorities told U Gambira’s family that he is charged with treason for his leading role in the September mass demonstrations.

For the full report, please click here.

UK Foreign Secretary statement on Burma

Source: Government News Network

Wednesday, 14th October 2007

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, today commented on last night's developments on Burma at the UN. He said:

"The eyes of the world are still on the situation in Burma. We welcome the report of Ambassador Gambari to the UN Security Council yesterday. The signs of progress are welcome but there remain major steps that need to be taken to ensure that the people of Burma have their voice heard about their own future.”

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has called for a 'meaningful and time-bound dialogue', and I think that does provide the right framework for both the international community and the regime to find a way forward to this very serious situation.”

For the full report, please follow this link:

ILO Asks Burma to Declare Ban on Forced Labour

Source: Times of India

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) called on Wednesday on the government of Burma to declare clearly that all forms of forced labour were banned in the country.
The United Nations agency's governing body, which includes representatives of governments, employers' groups and labour unions, also urged Burma's military rulers to prevent recruitment of child soldiers.

The Burmese authorities should "make at the highest level an unambiguous public statement that all forms of forced labour are prohibited throughout the country and will be duly punished," it said in a statement.

For the full report, please follow this link:,prtpage-1.cms


UN Envoy Pushes for Non-junta Meetings in Burma

Source: Agence France-Presse via

A UN human rights envoy Wednesday pressed Burma's junta to allow him to meet with people other than officials and expressed concern over the arrest of a labor activist.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro was "concerned" by the arrest of Su Su Nway during his mission to investigate the recent crackdown on pro-democracy protestors and other rights abuses, a UN official told AFP.

Pinheiro Wednesday met with Labor Minister Aung Kyi, who was appointed to liaise with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi following international outrage at the junta's crackdown.

The envoy also met with the foreign and information ministers and reiterated his request to meet with non-government people, the UN said. He has also asked to meet prisoners.

"While thanking the authorities for the wide range of meetings with government officials, the special rapporteur renewed to the authorities his request to be given access to other non-government interlocutors," the UN said in a statement.

Human rights groups have called on Pinheiro to pressure the junta to release all political prisoners during his mission.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Burma documentary screening in Hawaii

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

"Total Denial," a documentary about Burma, will be shown in a free screening at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Unitarian Church, 2500 Pali Highway.

"Total Denial" is about the relationship between multinational corporations and the military regime in Burma.

After the screening will be discussion with a Burmese guest speaker and light refreshments.

The event is sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship-O'ahu.

Information: Karla Kral, 371-6080.

Burma's Monks Not Ready To Forgive

Source: BBC

Burma's ruling generals have targeted Buddhist monks as they seek to silence dissent following September's protests. On a recent trip to the city of Mandalay, reporter Reena Sethi was given rare access to a monastery.

"As monks, we see everything. When we beg for our food we see how the rich live and the poor... we see how everything is getting worse and worse.”

"More and more people struggle to give us rice. They want to, but they have to spare it for their own mouths."

For the full report, please follow this link:



Baladas Ghoshal: Myanmar unrest and prospects for change

Source: The Jakarta Post

The destruction of the universities and lack of job opportunities have led to an exodus of talents from the country. All worthy young people in Myanmar want to leave the country. Those who can not, some make good by joining the Tatmadaw and others join the Monastery.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Burma Still Tops Asean Summit Agenda

Source: The Nation

Though Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont will be signing at least 13 documents at nine summits, including the Asean forum in Singapore next week, he knows the Burma issue will be on the top of the agenda.

Upon his arrival in Singapore on Monday, Surayud will first be sitting in on the third Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand Growth Triangle meeting to review cooperation projects and see if the schemes are benefiting people in the restive South.

The remaining eight summits will be related to Asean directly and Burma will be the main subject of discussion, notably the developments after the bloody unrest in September, said Vitavas Srivihok, the Foreign Ministry's director of Asean affairs.

Burma is also expected to be discussed in separate meetings scheduled with China, Japan, South Korea, India and European Union, he said.

Though there may be no additional proposals on Burma, the grouping is bound to look for ways to support Gambari's and the UN's efforts in pushing Burma toward democracy and national reconciliation, Vitavas said.

For the full report, please follow this link:


Canada Imposes New Sanctions on Burma

Source: Globe and Mail Update and Reuters

Canada will impose “the toughest sanctions in the world” on Burma, to further isolate its military junta after September's violent crackdown on protesters, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier announced Wednesday.

 “Tougher sanctions against Burma are the right thing to do. They are right on moral grounds. The regime in Burma is abhorrent to Canadian values,” he said.

The sanctions include a ban on all imports and exports to and from Burma, except for humanitarian goods, and a ban on new investment by Canadians and Canadian companies.

As well, Ottawa will freeze assets in Canada of any designated Burmese nationals connected with the junta, prohibit the provision of Canadian financial services to and from Canada, and prohibit the export of any technical data to Myanmar. Canadian-registered ships and aircraft will be prohibited from docking or landing in the country.

For the full report, please follow this link:


We're In Control, Burma Defence Official

Source: Agence France-Presse via Burmanet

Myanmar’s ruling junta is in control after recent bloody unrest and will take more action against those who violate the law, the country’s deputy defence chief said Wednesday.
Deputy Defence Minister Major General Aye Myint also said the generals would “not accept” outside interference they deemed harmful to their country’s sovereignty.

His comments came as a United Nations human rights envoy visited Myanmar to investigate the death toll and detentions from a recent crackdown on anti-government protests.

“Now the situation in Myanmar is in normalcy. We totally control all the situation,” Aye Myint told a news conference in Singapore after attending a meeting of Southeast Asian defence chiefs.

For the full report, please follow this link:

Burma: Media Blackout Blocks Updates on Country's Security

Source: AKI

While Burma's brutal crackdown has generated headlines around the world, a media blackout inside the country means very few people know whether there has been any political progress.

The US envoy to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday complained that the military leaders in Burma (or Myanmar) have made no move to accept democratic reforms, while human rights groups say mass detentions and torture are commonplace.

The country's deeply-revered monks led up to 100,000 people on the streets of Rangoon in September in the biggest protests against the ruling junta in nearly two decades.

For the full report, please follow this link:



New Pro-junta Campaign Reflects Anti-US, Western Media Stance

Source: Irrawaddy News

A new pro-junta campaign currently underway in Rangoon and on state-run Web sites promotes an anti-US, Western media stance and labels demonstrators as stooges.

One slogan in downtown Rangoon, written in Burmese, translates: “Oppose those who rely on America, act as their stooges and hold negative views.”

Photographs of protesting monks and anti-US rallies were posted on an official regime Web site on Wednesday. (See:

For the full report, please follow this link:



Kyaw Zwa Moe : Junta, You Will Win If You Use Suu Kyi Seriously [Commentary]

Source: Irrawaddy News

Something as simple as Suu Kyi's recent public statement has raised hopes for a genuine dialogue, while also prolonging the lifespan of the generals. Perhaps her statement alone can give the junta another five years to manipulate events to its advantage.

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Burmese Student Protesters in Thailand Fear Reprisals

Source: Irrawaddy News

Burmese students in Thailand who staged an anti-regime demonstration in Bangkok fear they face reprisals after Burma’s embassy in the Thai capital refused to renew the passport of one of them.

Ko Ko Lwin, a third year student at St. John’s University in Bangkok, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that when he applied at the embassy earlier this month for a passport renewal his application was rejected. Ko Ko Lwin said he had participated in a demonstration in front of the embassy on September 30, to condemn the way the authorities had suppressed protests in Rangoon the week before.

Ko Ko Lwin said his passport expires in two days’ time, making it impossible for him to return to Burma without being arrested.

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NLD Says Police Must Open File on Protest Victims

Source: Irrawaddy News

The victims of the brutal suppression of September’s demonstrations should not be forgotten if dialogue does take place between the Burmese regime and the opposition, National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Nyan Win, who is also a lawyer, said the police must legally open files on the demonstrators who were killed or who are still missing. The deaths of demonstrators were crimes, he emphasized.

“The NLD does not neglect those who lost their lives during the conflict,” Nyan Win said. “We will talk about them in any dialogue with the authorities.”

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Star Bulletin: Assure Cedical care and Human Rights in Burma

Source: Star Bulletin

A Hawaii medical mission recently spent a week in Burma to provide medical care.

For the full report, please click here.

U.N. Envoy "Disturbed" by Burma Arrest in Visit

Source: Reuters

U.N. human rights envoy Sergio Paulo Pinheiro was disturbed by Myanmar's arrest of prominent labor activist Su Su Nway as he met junta officials, a U.N. official said on Wednesday.

Pinheiro, visiting the former Burma to get to the bottom of the regime's bloody crackdown on democracy protests in September, was expected to raise her arrest in meetings with government officials on Thursday.

"He was disturbed by the fact that the arrest had been done," Charles Petrie, the top U.N. diplomat in Myanmar, told Reuters.

"He still has some meetings with authorities and Professor Pinheiro is pretty straightforward and frank, so I would expect him to raise that and other issues," he said.

For the full report, please click here.

CNN's Interview with Gambari

Source: Myo Chit Myanmar

CNN broadcast an interview with Un Special Envoy Mr Ibrahim Gabari on Tuesday regarding his recent trip to Burma to bring about national reconciliation.

German Buddhist Association Demands Release of Monks

Source: Nik Nayman

Kolner Buddhismus Center e.V, a Buddhist Association based in Germany, released a statement of Tuesday calling for Burmese junta to cease the arrest, torture, and murder of all Buddhist monks, and to immediately release the detained monks unconditionally.

The KBC added that it was extremely upset over the news that one of the leaders of the revolution, U Gambira, has been detained by junta.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Singapore Doctor -- and Alleged Banker -- to Burma's generals

Burma is facing a fresh scolding from ASEAN summit host Singapore but ties between the two nations run deep, with the city-state acting as doctor and alleged banker to the junta's ageing generals.

Singapore earned international praise for leading the 10-member regional bloc's condemnation of Myanmar's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in September, expressing "revulsion" at the use of deadly force there.

Two months on, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and especially Singapore, which will welcome leaders for their annual gathering from Sunday, is under pressure to match the tough words with action.

For the full report, please click here.

Monks in MaiHtiLa Still Carrying Out Patta-nikkujjana Against Officials

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma

A resident of MaiHtiLa told DVB that two monasteries were still carrying out the vow of Patta-nikkujjana against government officials and organisationg despite increasing pressure. According to the resident, while the monks are forced to accept food offerings from such personnel, they have been redistributing it among the poor.

"End of The Buddhist Lent means that the monks will have to go out on alms rounds. But what they receive from these people, they give away to the poor. The monasteries are cooking their own meals instead."

"Sometimes, the monks have to accept inivtations from the Official's house for food offering. But they will still abstain from eating there."

According to another resident, majority of the monks in MaiHtiLa are still keeping to their vow of Patta-nikkujjana.

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

Gambari Told Junta to Release Suu Kyi to Show Commitment

Source: Irrawaddy News

The UN Special Envoy on Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, on Tuesday told the UN Security Council that he called on the military leaders to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to show the world they want to start a national reconciliation process.

“I have stressed to the government that the best way to make real their commitment to dialogue with Suu Kyi is to release her without delay so that she can become a full partner in dialogue,” Gambari told the 15-member security council.

For the full report, please click here.

UN Security Council Divided in Discussion of Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

A sharply divided UN Security Council deliberated on events in Burma on Tuesday following a briefing by Ibrahim Gambari, the special UN envoy, on his five-day visit to the country last week, in which he noted there were positive developments, but bottlenecks remained in moving towards a national reconciliation process.

After more than four hours of deliberations, the Security Council finally abandoned the idea of issuing a formal statement or a UN Presidential Statement, as was done after its last meeting on the issue on October 11.

As a result, for the sake of unity among its 15-members, the task of capturing the mood of the council's deliberations was given to the presiding president for the month of November.

For the full report, please click here.

Burmese Student Protesters in Thailand Fear Reprisals

Source: Irrawaddy News

Burmese students in Thailand who staged an anti-regime demonstration in Bangkok fear they face reprisals after Burma’s embassy in the Thai capital refused to renew the passport of one of them.

Ko Ko Lwin, a third year student at St. John’s University in Bangkok, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that when he applied at the embassy earlier this month for a passport renewal his application was rejected. Ko Ko Lwin said he had participated in a demonstration in front of the embassy on September 30, to condemn the way the authorities had suppressed protests in Rangoon the week before.

For the full report, please click here.

U.N. Envoy Upbeat after Burma Trip but West Doubtful

Source: Reuters

U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari gave an upbeat report on Tuesday on his recent trip to promote democracy in Burma but Western ambassadors voiced doubts about the junta's will to cooperate with him.

Gambari told the U.N. Security Council the situation was "qualitatively different" from a few weeks ago and he believed the government could respond to international pressure for change following its crackdown on protests led by monks.

Gambari said his trip did not produce all the results he had hoped for but there had been some positive steps. He said after the meeting he would return "again and again and again" to promote what he hoped would be "substantive dialogue."

For the full report, please click here.

FM: China will continue to play constructive role on Myanmar issue

Source: People's Daily

China had played and would continue to play a constructive role on the Burma issue, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao on Tuesday.

Liu made the remarks at a regular press conference Tuesday afternoon.

China always supported the mediation efforts by the UN secretary general and his special envoy and would sincerely like to see a peaceful, stable, democratic and developing Burma, Liu said.

For the full report, please click here.

Junta Arrests Prominent Abbot U Gambira

Source: Mizzima News

Sayadaw (abbot) U Gambira, a prominent Buddhist clergy, who took a leading role in the August and September peoples' protest in Burma was arrested by the authorities in Rangoon, after a month in hiding, a source told Mizzima.

The police have been in hot pursuit of U Gambira, who took to the streets and led several thousand fellow monks on the streets of Rangoon in September. He has been accused of masterminding the anti-regime demonstrations, which began over the peoples' agitation against the fuel price hike in mid-August.

Despite being on the run, the Buddhist clergy spoke to the world of the recent protests and the brutal crackdown by the ruling junta by writing an article, which appeared as an editorial on the Washington Post.

For the full report, please click here.

Daewoo Officials, Others on Trial for Exporting Weapons to Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

Fourteen officials from seven Korean corporations, including a former president of Deawoo International, will be tried on Thursday in Seoul on charges of conspiring to illegally export weapons to the Burmese military regime.

They are charged with violating strategic goods regulations and fabricating export documents. The charges, filed in December 2006, also include involvement in the construction of an arms factory in Burma and other related offences.

Arrest warrants were issued for former Daewoo Heavy Industries president Yang Jae-Shin, who presently lives in the US, and a man identified as Koh, who was charged as a principal adviser on the illegal exports. All 14 are currently on bail.

For the full report, please click here.

Military presence swept under carpet before UN rights probe

Source: Mizzima News

Troops of the Burma Army were conspicuous by their absence in Rangoon on the eve of the arrival of the UN rights expert, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. The Burmese military junta took pains to see that there is no military presence in the former capital, a source close to the military establishment said.

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Bertil Lintner: India Stands by Burma Status Quo

Source: Asia Times

Burma's principal foreign ally China has shown in the wake of the military junta's recent armed crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators that Beijing is more interested in maintaining stability than pushing for democratic regime change. So then could India, Burma's other key regional ally, be persuaded to use its influence to facilitate political change?

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Foreigners Flock to Burma Gems Auction Despite Calls for a Boycott

Source: International Herald Tribune

More than 1,500 people from over 20 countries have registered for a major gems auction in Myanmar opening Wednesday, despite calls from human rights groups to block the purchase of precious stones from the military ruled country.

Burma is one of the biggest jade and gem-producing countries in the world, and international auctions are a major revenue earner for the regime.

Burma has held gem emporiums since 1964. The sale that runs from Wednesday through Nov. 26 is the first since the junta's bloody September crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that sparked international outcry.

"The trade in these stones supports human rights abuses," Human Rights Watch said in a statement. "The sale of these gems gives Burma's military rulers quick cash to stay in power."

The state-run Burma Gems Enterprise said it generated sales of nearly US$300 million (€206 million) in fiscal year 2006-2007, Human Rights Watch said.

Merchants from China and Hong Kong usually constitute the largest contingent of buyers at the auctions.

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Arrests Continue Despite Pinheiro’s Visit

Source: Irrawaddy News

Three Burmese dissidents, including civil rights champion Su Su Nway, were arrested in Rangoon on Tuesday morning, according to reliable sources. Two activist monks who took part in the September demonstrations were also arrested by authorities earlier this month.

The two monks included U Gambira, leader of the Alliance of All Burma Buddhist Monks, which played a significant role in the September demonstrations. He had been in hiding since the demonstrations were violently suppressed by the authorities. Members of his family were then arrested for maintaining contact with him.

The second monk was identified as U Kaythara.

For the full report, please click here.

M'sia Hopes Burma issue Will Not Overshadow ASEAN Summit

Source: Channel News Asia

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar is looking forward to a fruitful ASEAN Summit in Singapore.

Leaders are set to sign the group's Charter as well as a blueprint paving the way for a single ASEAN community by 2015.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Syed Hamid also expressed hope that the summit will not be inundated by the Burma issue.

He said, referring to the Charter that has recently been drafted: "This is the biggest mistake, if you think that we drafted the Charter because we want to discipline Myanmar. The Charter is not made for Myanmar, the Charter is made to show how confident we are in our regional organisation.

For the full report, please click here.

New Light of Myanmar: Two Ethnic Organizations Criticize Aung San Suu Kyi's Statement

Source: People's Daily

Two ethnic organizations in Myanmar, in their latest announcements published in Wednesday's official media, have criticized the ethnic part of a recent statement of Aung San Suu Kyi, while welcoming the recent talks between the government's Liaison Minister U Aung Kyi and Aung San Suu Kyi, detained political party leader.

The full text of the announcements of the Union Pa-Oh National Organization (UPNO) and Pa-Oh National Organization (PNO) of Special Region-6, both based in northern Shan state's Taunggyi, were carried on the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar.

For the full report, please click here.

Thai Gas Giant to Invest Billions of Dollars in Burma Gas Project

Source: Agence France-Presse via Burmanet

Thailand’s largest oil exploration firm, PTT Exploration and Production, said Tuesday it would invest at least one billion dollars over the next five years to develop its offshore gas project in Myanmar.

PTTEP this year began exploration of the M-9 block in the southwestern Gulf of Martaban by working with Myanmar’s top state-run oil enterprise, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The company plans to drill a more exploration wells this year and start installing production equipment in 2008, said PTTEP spokesman Sitthichai Jayant.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Burmese Leader Asks India to Arm Anti-junta Groups

Source: IANS via Yahoo News India

One of the top Burmese opposition leaders in exile has asked India to arm the country's pro-democracy parties with military and financial aid while snapping all defence sales to the ruling military junta.

Urging for a change in Indian foreign policy towards Burma, the National League of Democracy's Tint Swe said he believed that 'If not today, democracy will prevail soon'.

'If India is not going to change its policy then it will have to work harder, maybe for a decade, for better ties with a democratic regime,' said Swe, who had fled to India after he was elected a member of parliament in the 1990 elections, which were not accepted by the military.

For the full report, please click here.

Gambari to Brief UNSC on Burma

Source: Beta NDTV

UN Special Envoy on Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, would brief the UN Security Council on Wednesday morning (IST) on his five-day visits to the country last week.

For the full report, please click here.

Burma: Gem Trade Bolsters Military Regime, Fuels Atrocities

Source: Human Rights Watch via Reuters

China, Thailand, the United States, and other countries should completely block the purchase of gems from Burma that help finance military abuses there, Human Rights Watch said today. The group issued its call for targeted sanctions on Burma's gem business ahead of the opening of a major gem auction in Rangoon this week. "Burma's rubies and jade are prized for their beauty but the ugly truth is that the trade in these stones supports human rights abuses," said Arvind Ganesan, director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The sale of these gems gives Burma's military rulers quick cash to stay in power."

For the full report, please click here.

Ban says Burma's Parties Have Agreed to Talk

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur via The Nation
Burma's military government and opposition parties have agreed to hold "meaningful and substantive" talks to resolve the political crisis triggered by pro-democracy demonstrations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday.

Ban said he had been briefed by his special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who returned to New York this past weekend from a six-day visit in Burma aimed at convincing the military junta to agree to democratic reforms.

"As a result of this visit, a process has been launched that will hopefully lead to a meaningful and substantive dialogue with concrete outcomes within an agreed timeframe," Ban said in a statement.

"The secretary general welcomes the willingness expressed by both sides to work with the United Nations to this end," the statement said.

The president of the UN General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, added his support to the reported agreement to start dialogue.

For the full report, please click here.

Ban urges Myanmar parties to speed up reconciliation efforts

Source: Channel News Asia

UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Myanmar's ruling junta and opposition to redouble their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and full respect for human rights, his press office said Monday.
Ban again described a return to the status quo that existed prior to the current crisis as "not sustainable," a UN statement said.
He pressed the "government and all relevant parties to redouble their efforts towards achieving national reconciliation, democracy and full respect for human rights."

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Mixed Messages from Burma's junta

Source: Asia Times

Tentative talks in Burma between pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's military rulers have raised hopes in some quarters of a possible political breakthrough. At the same time diplomats and others believe the only tentative move towards dialogue is the latest of a long string of diversionary tactics by the junta to deflect international criticism and maintain its iron-clad grip on power.

For the full report, please click here.

India Seeks Release of Political Prisoners in Burma

Source: PTI via Yahoo News India

Pressing for "immediate" and "inclusive" political reforms in Burma, India Monday sought release of important political prisoners and probe into alleged excesses resorted to by the military junta.

"We want political reforms (in Burma) and the process of reconciliation has to start immediately and it has to be inclusive," Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Asian economic integration.

"As far as possible important political prisoners should be released. There should be some sort of inquiries into the excesses which were resorted to as it is being alleged by the media and other sources," he said.

For the full report, please click here.

Fred Hiatt: A Rescuer for the U.N. -- and Burma

Source: Washington Post

Fred Hiatt thinks that the isolated Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi chose “to throw Gambari and the faltering U.N. process a lifeline” despite being “the weakest actor in the drama”.

For the full article, please click here.

Doug Bandow: China-bashing won't solve Myanmar's crisis

Source: South China Morning Post via Burmanet

Why single out Beijing? The Myanmese dictatorship has more than its share of enablers. To start with, the US company Chevron, through its subsidiary Unocal, remains active in Myanmar. So are several European firms. Thailand is the largest purchaser of Myanmese products, followed by India. Major exporters to Myanmar include Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.

For the full report, please click here.

Note: Does Mr Bandow know that there is no such word as Myanmese?

The Role of Muslims in Burma's Democracy Movement

Source: Irrawaddy News

Although the September protests in Rangoon were led by Buddhist monks, Burmese Muslims were among the first to offer water to the monks as a means of showing support for the peaceful demonstrations.

“I saw some Muslims kneel down and pay respect to the Buddhist monks,” said Pan Cha, a Burmese Sikh businessman who arrived at the Thai-Burmese border in early October after being involved in the September demonstrations.

Over a month since the junta cracked down violently on the monks and their supporters in the streets of Burma, Pan Cha forcefully said in an interview with The Irrawaddy that “The Burmese people are not afraid—nationwide demonstrations are coming back again soon!”

For the full report, please click here.

Tay Za: Burma's Fading Business Tycoon?

Source: Irrawaddy News

A close business associate of Tay Za has revealed that the young tycoon, who was recently targeted with fresh US sanctions, is considering retirement and is in debt to the tune of about $US 30 million.

The source also told The Irrawaddy that Tay Za has become the victim of a smear campaign by rival businessmen and government officials loyal to former prime minister Gen Khin Nyunt, who is currently under house arrest.

For the full report, please click here.

Ethnic Leaders Welcome Aung San Suu Kyi's Statement

Source: Irrawaddy News

Leaders of several ethnic groups, both inside Burma and in exile, have welcomed the statement by Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the opposition National League for Democracy, expressing her readiness to cooperate with the military government to achieve a meaningful dialogue.

In Rangoon, Aye Tha Aung, chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy and secretary of the Committee Representing People’s Parliament, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that Suu Kyi’s statement was “acceptable” and fair to ethnic groups.

The Ethnic Nationalities Council, based in exile, also agreed with Suu Kyi's statement.

For the full report, please click here.

NLD Welcomes Singaporean Prime Minister's Support for Suu Kyi

Source: Irrawaddy News

Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, welcomes the Singaporean Prime Minister's acknowledgement of Suu Kyi and her political role in talks with the Burmese junta, a spokesperson of the NLD said on Monday.

Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy the pro-democracy group welcomes any Asean-member country's support for Suu Kyi and the democratization process.

“PM Lee Hsien Loong’s statement on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi seems to indicate Singapore wants to see national reconciliation in Burma,” said Nyan Win. “It is meaningful support for our struggle. We welcome any encouragement from the international community, including moral support.”

For the full report, please click here.

UN Resolution against Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

Led by Portugal on behalf of the European Union, more than 40 countries have tabled a resolution at a key UN committee expressing concern about the human rights situation in Burma and calling for the Burmese junta to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for its citizens.

The five-page resolution, which is considered to be in a draft stage until passed, “strongly calls upon” the Burmese Government to not only exercise utmost restraint and to desist from further arrests, but also to lift all restraint on peaceful political activity.

It calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including: the leaders of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin Oo; the leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Khun Htun Oo, and other Shan leaders; and the 88 Generation Students’ group leaders, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi.

For the full report, please click here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Asean Asked to Reconsider Financial Ties with Burma

Source: The National Opinion

The United States has asked Asean members to reconsider its financial relationship with the Burmese military junta as part of the mounting pressure on the regime to move forward to democracy.

"We ask them to think about their financial relationship with Burma and to ensure whether their banks are being used to shelter the financial assets of the Burmese regime," said Kristen Silverberg, US State Department's Assistant Secretary, Bureau of international Organisation Affairs.

Silverberg was in Thailand Monday for the last leg of her Asian tour which also took her to China and Vietnam to address the Burma issue.

For the full report, please click here.

Kavi Chongkittavorn: Asean and Suu Kyi Develop a New Rapport

Source: The Nation

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's reaction last week to the situation in Burma was constructive as he implicitly indicated that Asean has finally accepted National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a carefully worded statement issued after meeting with UN special envoy for Burma Ibrahim Gambari on Friday, Lee noted Suu Kyi has expressed readiness to cooperate with the Burmese government to open dialogue on national reconciliation and said he believed the UN's help is needed to facilitate this effort. It was the first time Asean has acknowledged Suu Kyi and her political role. The grouping has called for her release since 2003 following international pressure, but it has never been this enthusiastic.

For the full article, please click here.

UN Burma Envoy Visits Prison in Hunt for 'Missing' Protesters

Source: Guardian Unlimited

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN's independent rights investigator for Burma, spent at least two hours at Rangoon's notorious Insein prison, where political prisoners have been tortured and held in solitary confinement.

Pinheiro, who was back in Burma after a four-year ban, also visited the Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery on the outskirts of Rangoon.

The abbot of the monastery, U Yawata, said at the time that 70 monks and lay disciples had been seized during the raid, one of many in which monks were beaten and hauled off in trucks by soldiers. U Yawata said there were bloodstains on beds after soldiers fired around the complex and stole gold.

For the full report, please click here.

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