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Old 15-11-2007, 09:07 PM   #1501 (permalink)
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I've the time , and the computor ...............

see the sig I use .

"Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement." - Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch.
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Old 15-11-2007, 09:13 PM   #1502 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mid
I've the time , and the computor ...............
Yes well, that much is abundantly clear.

Quote:
see the sig I use
"I think...I think it's in my basement. Let me go upstairs and check" - M.C. Escher

Errm ok?

Just joking, obviously you are referring to this:

"Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement." - Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch.

That's all very well and noble, Mid, but I think it's reached the point of counter-productivity. The stage where you may actually be turning people who have an interest in the situation off with the sheer volume.

Me personally I don't really see the relevance of thousands of cut 'n pastes to that quote in any event. You clearly have a passion for the subject, perhaps there are more productive ways to voice that? Letters to Govt., that sort of thing?
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Old 15-11-2007, 09:19 PM   #1503 (permalink)
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Quote:

That's all very well and noble, Mid, but I think it's reached the point of counter-productivity. The stage where you may actually be turning people who have an interest in the situation off with the sheer volume.
as earlier stated , why open the thread if this is true ?

please open a discussion thread , you have my word I'll stay out of it .


..............................................


Prisoner releases coincide with Pinheiro visit

Nov 15, 2007 (DVB)–The Burmese authorities have released almost 200 prisoners from three prisons today, coinciding with the visit of United Nations special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro to the country.
According to National League for Democracy information officer U Han Thar Myint, over fifty detainees were released from Insein prison in Rangoon this morning, including six political prisoners and one death row inmate.

The six people imprisoned for political activities included Thein Naing Oo from Dala township in Rangoon, Pone Aung from Kyauktada, Kyaw Kyaw from North Okklapa, Thet Naung Soe from the Sagaing division capital Monywa and Yee Yee Win from Kyaik Hto in Mon state.

Htun Linn Kyaw, who was arrested after staging a solo demonstration in front of the Rangoon city hall on 14 December 2004, was also released.

A seventh political activist was due to be released, but refused to sign an agreement promising to refrain from political activities and so remains in detention.

In Bago division, nearly 140 people, none of whom were political prisoners, were released from Tharawaddy prison.

Those freed were in the prison for a variety of crimes, including drugs offences.

Nine prisoners were released from Bassein prison in Irrawaddy township, but it is not clear if they were being held for political offences.

The releases come as Pinheiro’s visit to the country is drawing to a close.

He was due to visit Insein prison today, and the releases have been seen by some as an attempt by the regime to distract attention from the human rights violations perpetrated in the wake of recent demonstrations.

Tate Naing from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners was sceptical about the regime’s motives.

“The SPDC government usually does this kind of thing whenever UN officials are visiting Burma, and they’re doing it in the hope of finding a way to ease the international pressure on them,” he said.

Reporting by Aye Nai and Naw Say Phaw
english.dvb.no


..............................


State authorities to decide promotions, postings and transfers
Thu 15 Nov 2007
Mi Malay Chan, IMNA

Promotions, postings and transfers of government employees will from now on be decided by the State Peace and Development Council.

Earlier the government staffs were under their mother department, but last week the Mon Sate Peace and Development Council issued an order to every government department to report to them on matters of promotion, postings and transfers.

snip

monnews-imna.com


...................................

U.N. rights envoy fails to see top Myanmar dissident
Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:20pm GMT

YANGON (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.

A diplomatic source had earlier incorrectly told Reuters that Sergio Paulo Pinheiro had managed to see Min Ko Naing, jailed since mid-August when the ruling military began to clamp down on protests against high fuel prices and falling living standards.

Pinheiro told reporters his visit to Insein had included meetings with social activists such as Su Su Nway, who was arrested on Tuesday, and the former Burma's longest-serving political prisoner, journalist Win Tin.

"He's always in high spirits, although he's 78 and has spent 18 years in prison," Pinheiro said at Yangon airport as he was about to depart for Thailand.

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.

The junta says all but 91 of the nearly 3,000 people rounded up in the crackdown have been released, although one Yangon-based diplomat said the number still in detention was around 1,000.

"The official figure is out by a factor of about 10," the diplomat said.

That estimate does not include the 1,100 prisoners of conscience the United Nations and human rights groups say were already being held before the protests started.

Official media say 10 people were killed in the crackdown, although Western governments say the real toll is likely to be far higher.

Min Ko Naing, Myanmar's most prominent political figure after detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was freed in 2004 after 15 years in jail for leading 1988 student protests that were crushed by the army.

Once free, he continued to criticise the military which has ruled the country for 45 years.

He was among 13 dissidents arrested in August, accused of causing civil unrest and undermining peace and security, charges that could see them spend 20 years in prison.

Despite many reports of detainees being caged in animal-like conditions during September's crackdown, some of the "88 Generation Students", as Min Ko Naing's group is known, appeared to have been fairly well-treated, the Yangon-based diplomat said.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun and Ed Cropley; writing by Ed Cropley; editing by Michael Battye and Roger Crabb)
reuters.com


..............................................


Ethnic Ceasefire Groups Told to Sign Statement against Suu Kyi
By Wai Moe
November 15, 2007


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.

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................


80,000 Karenni Villagers Become IDPs
By Saw Yan Naing
November 15, 2007


More than 80,000 Karenni people have become Internally Displaced Persons, currently hiding in new villages, rebuilt villages and forced relocation sites, following Burmese army operations, according to the surveys of field sources in Karenni State.

snip

irrawaddy.org
__________________
"Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement." - Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch.

"I think...I think it's in my basement. Let me go upstairs and check" - M.C. Escher

Last edited by Mid : 15-11-2007 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 16-11-2007, 01:08 PM   #1504 (permalink)
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UN human rights investigator says he's able to determine death toll from Myanmar crackdown
AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer
November 15, 2007 10:10 PM


BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - A U.N. investigator said Friday his five-day mission to Myanmar 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 the details.

U.N. human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said he would report the figures only after drafting a formal report on his trip for the United Nations.

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

Myanmar's military government has said 10 people were killed when troops opened fire on crowds of peaceful protesters Sept. 26-27. Diplomats and dissidents say the death toll was much higher.

Pinheiro was sent by the U.N. to investigate allegations of abuse in connection with the crackdown and to try to get into the country's prisons to pin down the precise numbers of those killed and detained.

During his five-day stay, he was allowed to meet with several prominent political prisoners and said that the authorities had provided him with a list of all detainees and their conditions.

The government has acknowledged detaining nearly 3,000 people who took part in the protests but says it has released most of them. Many prominent political activists, however, remain in custody.

''Of course, I am happy that large numbers of people have been released, but I have my concerns about the situation of those who have not been released,'' Pinheiro said in Yangon on Thursday.

Before leaving the country, Pinheiro was taken to Yangon's infamous Insein Prison, where he met with labor activist Su Su Nway, who was arrested Tuesday.

Pinheiro 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.

He said he had requested a meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, but it had not been granted by the government.

He added, however, that he was satisfied with the cooperation he had received from the government, and noted that U.N. special envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari, who visited a week earlier, had been allowed to meet Suu Kyi.

Buddhist monks led the recent movement until it was brutally crushed. The authorities began their crackdown by raiding several monasteries in Yangon in the middle of the night and hauling monks away.

Pinheiro had also visited Insein Prison on Monday, but was only given access to officials.

Insein has held numerous political prisoners over the years. Many former inmates describe torture, abysmal conditions and long stretches in solitary confinement.

Pinheiro's trip was otherwise dominated by meetings with junta officials. He had been given access to several detention centers in Yangon in addition to Insein, but was not allowed to meet any prisoners.

Despite worldwide criticism, the junta was reported to have continued its crackdown during Pinheiro's visit.

Su Su Nway, who had been on the run for more than two months, was arrested Tuesday morning in Yangon as she tried to place a leaflet near a hotel where Pinheiro was staying, said exiled Myanmar dissidents in Thailand.

U Gambira, a monk who helped spearhead the pro-democracy demonstrations in Yangon, was arrested several days ago, said Stanley Aung of the Thailand-based dissident group National League for Democracy-Liberated Area.

Pinheiro said he did not get to meet with U Gambira.

AP-WS-11-16-07 0055EST
newspress.com


.................................................. ..........



Five anti-Irrawaddy dam detainees freed in Myitkyina
November 16, 2007
KNG

Four women and an elderly man arrested for opposing the Irrawaddy River dam project in Myitsone in Kachin State, Northern Burma were freed by the Burmese military junta authorities on Wednesday evening, said sources close to the five.


The four activists were arrested and held in custody in No. 1 Police Station in Myitkyina Township, capital of Kachin State since Monday by the Burmese police, the sources added.

Ms. Pan Tsun and her three colleagues were rounded up with documents related to a civilian signature campaign in Myitkyina against the Myitsone dam. A man over 60 was detained because he signed the campaign paper against the dam project, according to the sources.

After the detainees were interrogated by the police and members of the special branch in custody, they were released. However, respectable people stood guarantee that the detainees will call a halt to their anti-dam signature campaign, a resident close to them told KNG today.

Last Saturday anti-dam wall writings saying —"No Dam Myitsone. Than Shwe killer." were spray painted at seven key places in Myitkyina
where there are always crowds. The wall writings were the handiwork of university students owing allegiance to the All Kachin Students Union (AKSU).

On May 21, 2007, an open letter signed by 13 Kachin leaders including representatives of villages near Myitsone, leaders of different Kachin Christian organisations and private dignitaries across Kachin State was sent directly to Burma's ruling junta supremo Sr-Gen Than Shwe appealing to him to intervene and stop the regime's hydroelectric power project in Myitsone.


The letter was sent to Sr-GenThan Shwe by the Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA) on behalf of all Kachins. The letter stated the project will damage the ecology and environment of Myitsone, an invaluable natural heritage of the Kachins.

The dam project would also lead to widespread flooding of the villages around Myitsone and Myitkyina. Myitsone, also called "Mali-N'mai Zup" in Kachin is the confluence of Mali Hka (Mayli Kha) and N'mai Hka (May Kha) rivers near Tang Hpre Village, 27 miles north of Myitkyina. The confluence is one of the most popular tourist sites in Burma.

The Myitsone hydroelectric power project is one of a total of seven hydroelectric power projects in Kachin State planned by the junta. It is estimated to generate a total of 3,600 MW of electricity, according to state-run newspapers in Burma.

The project will flood 47 villages around the Myitsone and displace over 10,000 villagers, warned the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)'s report—"Damming the Irrawaddy" published last month.
The Myitsone hydroelectric power project is a joint sector project between Burma's ruling junta and the Chinese government.

Currently, testing activities with modern equipment and road construction are underway in Myitsone by Burma's Asia World Co. Ltd, said eyewitnesses in Tang Hpre village.

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.
kachinnews.com


..............................................



Chinese gov't special envoy ends Myanmar visit
2007-11-16


YANGON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese government's special envoy, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi ended his three-day visit to Myanmar Friday.

During his visit, Wang called on Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw Thursday.

snip

The Myanmar side reiterated that it firmly pursue the one China policy, regards Taiwan as an inalienable part of China and opposes all separatists activities for "Taiwan independence".

snip

xinhuanet.com


no time to meet with the UN but no problems finding the time for China .......


...................................


UN human rights investigator says he can determine Myanmar death toll, won't give details
AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer
November 16, 2007 3:40 AM


BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - A U.N. investigator said Friday that he had information to help determine the numbers of people killed and detained during Myanmar's recent crackdown on protesters, but that he would reveal the details in the coming weeks.

snip

newspress.com


...................................


Myanmar frees 53 prisoners after UN envoy visit - lawyer
Date :16/11/2007 @ 11:32Source :TFN

snip

The prisoners were released Thursday evening, shortly after UN envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro finished a visit to Insein, said Aung Thein, a lawyer for the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

"Altogether 52 men and one woman were released from Insein prison yesterday evening. Most of the people were criminals. Only six political prisoners were among them," he told Agence France-Presse.

Five of the political prisoners were NLD members, and the sixth was a student activist named Thet Naung Soe. They had been in prison for a few years and were not involved in the recent anti-government protests, the lawyer said.

Most of those released were people convicted of charges such as robbery or gambling, he added.

snip


orange.advfn.com


...................................


At least 15 killed in Myanmar's September crackdown
Nov 16, 2007

snip

'The number of the casualties that the government of Myanmar is giving is 14,' Pinheiro told a press conference in Bangkok after spending five-days in neighbouring Myanmar to access the extent of the human rights violations committed by the ruling junta during its latest crackdown on its own people.

Non-government observers have suggested that more than 100 people died in the incident, which shocked the world and threw Myanmar's military dictatorship back into the limelight of global condemnation.

'I am not in a position to say if this number is an accurate number,' Pinheiro said.

Myanmar's state-run press has been claiming that only 10 people died when police and soldiers beat and shot protesters on September 26-27 to end two months of anti-government demonstrations against a dramatic fuel price hike on August 15.

snip

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

monstersandcritics.com


..............................................


Myanmar junta raises crackdown toll to 15: U.N.
By Ed Cropley
Nov 16, 2007


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government has acknowledged that at least 15 people were killed in September's crackdown on the biggest democracy protests in nearly 20 years, U.N. human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said on Friday.

The figure includes 14 people taken from Yangon's main hospital to the city's Htain Bin crematorium, and a Japanese video journalist shot when soldiers were sent in to clear the streets of the monk-led demonstrations, Pinheiro said.

"This number is only for Yangon," Pinheiro told a news conference in Bangkok

snip

The junta said no Buddhist monks were among the dead, Pinheiro said.

snip

Pinheiro did not reveal details of the conversations he had with the political prisoners, other than to read a short poem called "My Time In Prison" given to him by Win Tin:

"Will death be my release? As long as democracy and human rights are not within reach, I decline my release. I am prepared to stay."

abcnews.go.com

Last edited by Mid : 16-11-2007 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 16-11-2007, 01:14 PM   #1505 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mid
as earlier stated , why open the thread if this is true ?
I think you've missed the point entirely.

I have to open the thread periodically to keep it off new posts view as you rountinely bump it - don't read it, just open it and exit.

Anyways, as you were. I'm sure you're busy scouring the intraweb for yet more fascinating updates...
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Old 16-11-2007, 08:03 PM   #1506 (permalink)
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Monk held after monastery raid


Nov 16, 2007 (DVB)–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.

They took U Sanda Wara, who is an ethnic Arakan, to Kaythara Rama monastery in nearby Lay Daung Kan village.

On their arrival at this monastery, the monks there told the government officials to release U Sanda Wara, who is responsible for looking after 700,000 kyat in funding for full moon day festivals.

But the officials would not release the monk, and instead left him at Kaythara Rama monastery while they went back to collect the money, also taking some other monastery property.

When they returned to Kaythara Rama monastery, they told the monk they had only found 200,000 kyats inside, but the monk insisted there had been 700,000, and he accused USDA and government officials of stealing the money.

Following this argument, the monk was taken away by the authorities.

His current whereabouts are unknown, and it is not clear if he has been charged with any offence.

Thirty-nine local monasteries have been involved in an ongoing dispute with the authorities over land ownership in the area.

The land on which the monasteries are built was sold to them by USDA members, but the land did not actually belong to these members and was not theirs to sell.

Despite the payments made by the monasteries to the USDA members for the land before the monasteries were built, the government is now saying that they must move from the land as it does not belong to them and they were not entitled to build there.

Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no
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Old 17-11-2007, 02:52 PM   #1507 (permalink)
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International students to stage protest at ASEAN Summit
16 Nov 07

A group of international students from the National University of Singapore has released a press statement announcing that they will be holding a protest outside Shangri-la Hotel as a mark of solidarity with the Burmese people.

The hotel is the venue of the ASEAN Summit which is taking place from 18-22 Nov 07. The protest will take place on 19 Nov 07, Monday at 11 am.

PRESS RELEASE: Students demonstrate solidarity with Burma at ASEAN Summit

singaporedemocrat.org


...................................



More ethnic groups in Myanmar dispute Aung San Suu Kyi's statement


YANGON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- More ethnic peace groups in Myanmar are expressing disagreement over a recent statement by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, while appreciating the recent liaison between the government and the detained political party leader.

The peace groups' statements, carried in the official newspaper the New Light of Myanmar in the last two days, include those of Lahu National Development Party, Kokang Democracy and Unity Party, Shan State Army of Shan State (North) Special Region-3, Kachin Defense Army of Shan State (North) Special Region-5, Karenni nationalities People's Liberation Front, Palaung Nationalities Group of Shan State (North) Special Region-7 and Kayinni National Peace and Development Party.

They said Aung San Suu Kyi, general secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), has implied that she and her party will represent the political parties and ethnic groups. They turned down her offer as she did not seek the organizations' opinions.

snip

xinhuanet.com


..............................................


story from todays chat

Quote:
17 Nov 07, 07:58
mid: thanxs for that ...............i'll remember the story .

17 Nov 07, 07:58
Pytihu Cop: hope you spread this story to other people since you have better english and better connection then me

17 Nov 07, 07:57
Pytihu Cop: and other 50 strokes give to the guard.. so it is the smae as bumese ppl as long as these junta get punshied we don't mion getting hardship by the sanction..

17 Nov 07, 07:56
Pytihu Cop: the king was suprised so hesaid why? the fisherman reply I have to promise the guard to give hin 50% what I get, since I want him to get punish, I don't mind getting 50 stroke of cane

17 Nov 07, 07:55
Pytihu Cop: the fisherman reply.. my king please give me 100 strokes of cane..

17 Nov 07, 07:55
Pytihu Cop: the king was so delighted.. so he ask the fisher man what reward he want

17 Nov 07, 07:54
Pytihu Cop: so the fisher man said ok..you will get 50% what ever I got.. so the fisherman go and see the king and give the king a big fish..

17 Nov 07, 07:53
Pytihu Cop: so nthe fisherman told the guard..I want to give the big fish to the king.. so the guard said ok, it is a big fish..you will get good reward. as long as you give me half the reward you get from the ki

17 Nov 07, 07:52
Pytihu Cop: ok: there was a fisher man caught a big fiah one day. .. so he wants to give it to the king . so he went to the palace. at the palace gate, the guard said what is the reason do you come to palace.

17 Nov 07, 07:52
mid: hope to soon .....................

17 Nov 07, 07:51
Pytihu Cop: By the way did you know that the fisher man and the palace guard strory??

17 Nov 07, 07:51
mid: ok sorry , now i'm reading not writing .... pls tell the story of the fisherman and palace guard

..............................................


Singapore bans Myanmar protest at ASEAN summit
Sat 17 Nov 2007
By Koh Gui Qing

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has banned all outdoor protest at a summit of Southeast Asian nations and rejected an opposition party's request to stage a Myanmar pro-democracy protest, police and activists said on Saturday.

snip

africa.reuters.com


...................................


ASEAN leaders play down body's influence on Myanmar (Roundup)
Nov 17, 2007, 7:51 GMT


Singapore - Leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday played down the body's influence on Myanmar despite rising calls for the country's suspension from the grouping until its human rights situation improves.

'If we can arrive at a common position, that will be very helpful for the process of national reconciliation in Myanmar,' said Foreign Minister George Yeo.

With the US Senate the latest to call on ASEAN to suspend Myanmar over its human rights abuses and rights groups urging sanctions and other tough stands, Yeo said the 40th anniversary summit followed by the East Asia Summit would do 'well' if common ground was reached.

With Singapore holding the ASEAN chairmanship, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the situation in Myanmar is 'not sustainable,' but ASEAN's influence on Myanmar is limited.

'Myanmar is a member of the ASEAN family,' Lee told The Straits Times. 'No one wishes a family member ill.'

'Our influence on Myanmar is limited and Myanmar clearly prefers to work with the UN rather than ASEAN,' Lee said

snip

monstersandcritics.com


..............................................


Junta pressures ceasefire groups to condemn Daw Suu's statement

November 16, 2007 - The Burmese military junta's Cultural Minister, during a meeting last month in Lashio, Northern Shan State, forced four ethnic armed ceasefire groups to release a statement against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's statement released earlier this month.

According to a source close to the armed ceasefire groups, the Burmese Cultural Minister, Khin Aung Myint, asked the groups to sign an agreement to release statements against Burmese pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's statement released on November 8 on her position regarding dialogue with the ruling junta.

snip

mizzima.com


....................................



Members of the Swan Arr Shin, the Burmese junta sponsored organisation, sit around the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon on Friday. Swan Arr Shin was actively involved in the ruthless suppression of pro-democracy protesters in September in which officially 10 people were killed by security forces. Unofficial estimate suggest the death toll was much higher.
Photo: Mizzima


.................................................. ........


Pinheiro’s trip (11-15 November)


Paulo Sergio Pinheiro


11 November - Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, arrives in Rangoon. He is taken to Pegu and then to the Shwe Dagon. (Irrawaddy)

12 November - He visits infamous ‘insane’ Insein prison and the Ngwe Kya Yan monastery. He is told by the abbot that as many as 70 monks were detained during the army raid in September.
(Irrawaddy)

13 November - As Pinheiro continues his investigations in Burma, 3 dissidents, two of whom are Reverend U Gambira, leader of the Alliance of All Burma Buddhist Monks, and Su Su Nway, civil rights champion, are arrested. The other is Reverend U Kaythara.
(Irrawaddy/Mizzima/AP)

13 November - Prior to his arrival, the Burmese military had swept its presence under the carpet. (Mizzima)

14 November - Pinheiro meets cabinet ministers in the jungle capital.(Adnkronos International)

15 November - Pinheiro meets several political prisoner at Insein,including SuSu Nway, and Win Tin, 77, held since 1989. (AP)

16 November - Pinheiro back in Bangkok, says he will be able to determine the numbers of people killed and detained in two weeks time. (AP)

shanland.org


..............................................


China calls on Myanmar to speed up its democratic reforms in unusual gesture
November 17, 2007

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - China called on Myanmar to speed up democratic reforms, state media reported Saturday - an unusual move for Beijing, which has traditionally refrained from criticizing the military regime.

The call came as a U.N. human rights investigator wrapped up a trip to the country that he said had helped him to determine that at least 15 people died during the junta's crackdown on pro-democracy protests in September.

China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi also expressed support for U.N. attempts to reconcile the regime and the suppressed democracy movement during a two-day meeting with the junta that ended Friday.

The state-controlled New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported the meeting only after Wang had left the country.

China, a communist country whose own record on democratic reforms and human rights has been criticized, is one of Myanmar's largest trading partners and its main political ally.

Beijing does not usually publicly criticize Myanmar's military government, a reflection of its position of strict noninterference in the internal affairs of the country.

But in recent weeks, it has been credited with working behind the scenes to pressure Myanmar to embrace democratic reforms after the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations.

China also provided important backing for the mission of Ibrahim Gambari, the U.N. secretary general's special envoy on Myanmar, by supporting a Security Council declaration and helping persuade Myanmar to allow him to visit twice.

snip

newspress.com


..............................................



USDA start hate campaign against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Sat 17 Nov 2007
IMNA

The Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) has begun to spread canards about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi among villagers in different townships in Mon state.

The USDA has briefed its members to tell the people that though Daw Suu was given many honours, she never did anything for the cause of development for the people in the Burma. Whatever has been done in terms of development has been done by the State Peace and Development Council such as building bridges, roads, and other development works.

The junta backed USDA campaign aims to ensure that there is no support for Daw Suu from among the people if demonstrations take place again in the future.

A source close to the USDA member, said they (USDA) speak ill of Daw Suu to distance her from the people. The members were told to tell the people about the optimism the SPDC is generating.

However a Moulmein resident in Mon State said “They (SPDC) have done nothing for the people. If they actually worked for the people, they (people) would not have any trouble.”

“Why didn’t they build roads and bridges in Chaungzone Township, Mon State? They do things for their own benefit. That’s why there is no hope for the people. They are only interested in the business run by the Burma Army, he said.

USDA began their campaign in Kyaikmayaw Township on November 10 and are continuing their campaign in other townships, he added.

snip

monnews-imna.com


..............................................





Soft touch with Myanmar
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007
By SHIBLY NABHAN
Special to The Japan Times


It was far from a perfect crime and far from a perfect coverup: a shooting in broad daylight, hundreds of witnesses, scores of video cameras recording the crime from many angles, audio recordings of the shots fired, clear photos of a man brandishing a murder weapon, an insignia identifying the suspect's place of work, and an autopsy analysis of a body with clear gunshot wounds.

Do we have an arrest and prosecution? No. We have a one-page fax that doesn't give the name of a suspect, and doesn't even recognize that a crime was committed. This is the blind and mute world of Japan-Myanmar diplomacy.

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. For me it may be impossible because I once met Nagai and was impressed by his journalistic dedication and courage.

The letter, released to the press by Nagai's colleagues, failed to even acknowledge that Nagai was shot. Reading it, you would think that Nagai suddenly died of a heart attack or stroke while visiting a peaceful and protest-free Myanmar. The letter used intransitive verbs rather than attaching any cause or origin to the death. Maung Myint's letter expresses "Heartfelt condolences" for Nagai "who lost his life unfortunately while in Myanmar." He termed Nagai's death "regrettable."

snip

japantimes.co.jp

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No.11 - 11/2007
18 November 2007
Dispatches



By: Aung Lynn Htut




I assumed duties as General Staff Officer (Second Grade) with the military intelligence at the Defense Headquarter (War Office) under the close supervision of Senior General Than Shwe from May 1992 through September 1999.

During that tenure, I was assigned to assume duties to help bring about peace through negotiation with the ethnic armed groups; to coordinate and facilitate matters, as necessary, between the government and the ethic armed groups that have reached peace agreement with the government; to coordinate and facilitate matters relating to drug control between groups and agencies inside and outside of Burma.

In the process, I have had the liberty and opportunity to observe and learn, thanks essentially to my friends and colleagues at the Defense Headquarters (War Office), the conniving ways of Senior General Than Shwe against the citizens of Burma and other nations of the world.

To cite an illustration, in a nutshell, with regard to domestic issues, there was a popular talk among the military community about what was enunciated by Senior General Than Shwe himself, at one of the four monthly meeting held at the War Office, to military and civilian leaders. He said: “Don’t even spare the residual quarter!”

What he was trying to say he was, in effect, giving official orders to military leaders to even kill off the unborn child within the womb of the mother when they have to kill the innocent civilians.

By virtue of this verbal order, civilians who did not follow the orders of the military were put to death in Shan, Karen and Mon states and in the Tanyinthaye (Tennassarim) Division.

As an offshoot of this verbal order, untoward effects resulted in the form of force labor, human rights violations and rape perpetrated by some of the military because officers and soldiers in the front lines simply took for granted that they were given a green light by the Commander-in-Chief Senior General Than Shwe himself to do such things.

Again, Senior General Than Shwe, on his way to the passing out parade (graduation ceremony) of the Defense Services Academy, in April 1996, told senior military leaders accompanying him that, if the army needs more soldiers, the military leaders should recruit children. That triggered this process of recruiting child soldiers in Burma.

As far as foreign affairs are concerned, to put it in a nutshell, Senior General Than Shwe always inculcated hate-America sentiments among the members of the military. In 1992, he told explicitly that the US citizens at the embassy in Rangoon should be killed if the United States attacks Burma.

He also used to often say at the Defense Headquarters that Burma does not need to be afraid of the United States, if only she has the nuclear capability like North Korea and that Cuba, in point of fact, could afford to care less of America. The senior military officers took his words as policy guidance.

On the issue of drugs, Senior General Than Shwe’s mantra has always been ‘narcotics harm no Burmese. Drugs harm only the United States and Thailand. So let the Americans and Thai die!”

Globalization makes it impossible for any country to stay entirely isolated. Advanced communication systems enable individuals and countries alike to get in touch and share with each other, within seconds, useful information. Nation competitively strives for development. Thanks to globalization many countries are now treading towards democracy. In today’s world, dignity of human being has enhanced and people have come to value the essence of democracy like freedom of speech, press, religion and individual expression.

On the contrary, the Burmese Military Regime has talked the talk but has not yet walked the walk, as far as democracy is concerned. In reality, it is still embedded in a dictatorship. Prior to the 1990 election, I, personally, thought that the military regime would go for democracy in Burma. However, after the elections, we lost faith in the military regime leaders ever since they refused to hand over power.

Again, in 1993, the so-called National Convention was convened. The National League for Democracy walked out in 1996 claiming undemocratic practices at the convention. And the Burmese Military Regime began to adopt a dictatorship along the lines of North Korea and Cuba. Within Burma, civilians, especially in areas where there are ethnic armed groups, have fallen victims to forced labor, rape and forced relocation.

It is my firm belief that, under the circumstances, Burma cannot become a democracy as long as the regime led by Senior- General Than Shwe remains in power. Democracy is possible only when unity can be forged among the military and all the political groups inside and outside the country.

Therefore I believe that Burma can become a developed democratic state when all the freedoms of speech, the press, religion and expression flower in accordance with the law. To achieve that it is the vital for National League for Democracy and Ethnic Political parties, Ethnic Insurgent groups that have reached peace agreement with the regime, individuals and groups working for national good and the ruling military enter into a dialogue and find a solution.

Aung Lynn Htut
Former Military Intelligence Officer and Charge ‘d Affairs
Washington D.C

The letter reached S.H.A.N. through a friendly intermediary. Opinions expressed here are those of the author – Editor.

shanland.org


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Junta raids KIO officials' homes in Myitkyina
November 18, 2007
KNG


Combat troops of the Burma Army and Sa-Ya-Pha, Military Affairs Security Unit also called the military intelligence, yesterday raided the homes of officials of the main Kachin ceasefire group, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State in Northern Burma.

They seized all illegal Chinese landline telephones they found, said KIO officials.

The raid follows the KIO's refusal to sign a statement opposing Aung San Suu Kyi's November 8 statement that she had been approached by a number of ethnic groups to represent them in the dialogue with the military junta.

The junta has been arm twisting a number of ethnic ceasefire groups to issue statements refuting Suu Kyi's statement.

In a bid to pressurize the KIO, troops and officers of the military intelligence surrounded the homes of senior officials of the KIO and went in ostensibly checking for strangers and unreported guests but seized the Chinese landline telephones instead.

The junta also seized Chinese telephones in Myitkyina, Waingmaw and Bhamo areas yesterday evening.

The raid was conducted between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time and was targeted at houses of the battalion, brigade commanders and senior officials, and liaison offices in Myitkyina and Bhamo cities including KIO vice-president N'ban La Awng in Shatapru quarter in Myitkyina, according to KIO sources and eyewitnesses.

Family members of KIO officials in Shatapru and Du Mare quarters told KNG today, they were forced to open all the rooms in their homes to allow the raiding teams to check for strangers and guests and seized Chinese wireless landline telephones which are serviced by China.

There are over 30 houses of KIO officials' in Myitkyina, residents and KIO sources said.

In Myitkyina Township, there are hundreds of Chinese wireless land telephones used by people from all kinds of backgrounds—the junta, KIO and civilians because the illegal Chinese phones are cheap and the service is good compared to the telephones on offer by the military junta.

The raid was ordered by the Northern Command Commander Maj-Gen Ohn Myint based in Myitkyina because the KIO did not keep the junta's request to them to release a statement countering the National League for Democracy (NLD) General Secretary, Aung San Suu Kyi statement on November 8 released in Singapore by the UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari on her behalf, KIO officials said.

"The statement only concerns Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta. So, we assume we are not required to release any special statement on it, till now," The KIO vice-chairman Gauri Zau Seng assured KNG this evening

The junta-run newspaper the New Light of Myanmar stated this week, that seven ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma –
the Lahu National Development Party,
Kokang Democracy and Unity Party,
Shan State Army of Shan State (North) Special Region-3,
Kachin Defence Army of Shan State (North) Special Region-5,
Karenni Nationalities People's Liberation Front,
Palaung Nationalities Group of Shan State (North) Special Region-7 and
Kayinni National Peace and Development Party
have released statements countering Aung San Suu Kyi statement.

The raid is unusual and has taken place for the first time in 13 years of the ceasefire. The raid came after a special representative of junta supremo Sr-Gen Than Shwe, Maj-Gen Ye Myint, chief of Military Affairs Security (Sa-Ya-Pha) met KIO leaders in Myitkyina early this month.

There is a discernable change in the situation of the KIO after UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari's trip. When Maj-Gen Ye Myint met KIO leaders, he unofficially promised to create an opportunity where the KIO could discuss with the junta its proposal to the National Convention.

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.

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First Lady Remarks On Gem Show In Rangoon, Burma
Monday, 19 November 2007, 3:07 pm
Press Release: The White House

The White House
Office Of The First Lady
Statement By Mrs. Laura Bush
November 16, 2007

First Lady Remarks on Gem Show in Rangoon
The Burmese regime has just opened a gem show in Rangoon. The sale of gems is the regime's third largest source of revenue. These funds prop up the regime, allowing it to continue to harass, arrest, and sentence peaceful activists who seek freedom of speech, worship, and assembly.

Even as United Nations Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari and U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur Paulo Pinheiro were in Burma to help start a dialogue toward national reconciliation, the regime continued its crackdown.

Despite statements that arrests had ended, the regime arrested Su Su Nwe, an ailing activist who continues to risk her life to press for change. The junta also arrested and reportedly sentenced U Gambira, a brave and respected monk, for treason.

Those who support freedom and justice for the Burmese people should not help fill the regime's coffers at this gem show. I applaud the Jewelers of America and member companies such as Tiffany and Cartier for taking a stand against the importation of Burmese gems.

I urge others in the industry, both in the U.S. and worldwide, to join in this important effort and refuse to have the trade in Burmese gems prop up the Burmese regime. Consumers throughout the world should consider the implications of their purchase of Burmese gems.

Every Burmese stone bought, cut, polished, and sold sustains an illegitimate, repressive regime.

ENDS


..............................................



A staff member cleans jade stones before an auction in Yangon





Pearl lots that are to be auctioned are displayed at the Mid-Year Emporium in Yangon Nov. 13, 2007.
Over 4,000 gem merchants are expected to participate in the sale which will be held in Yangon from Nov. 14 to 26.
(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


..............................................


Gem Traders Unfazed by Burma Turmoil
Hong Kong jadeite traders say their clientele doesn't care where stones come from, and they have stock to tide them over interruptions in supply
by Wilson Lau


A customer examines jade at the 8th Beijing International Jewellery Fair on July 19, 2007 in Beijing, China.
Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images


QUOTE
snip

The export of jadeite from Burma to Hong Kong and China, which has been going on for decades with little media scrutiny, is worth about $433.2 million a year, official figures for 2006 show.

That's 10% of the country's total exports, making jadeite sales vital to the Burmese government. And the figure doesn't include the hundreds of millions of dollars raised from sales of smuggled goods to Hong Kong and China

snip

businessweek.com


pls note that the article is dated Nov 7th , and the postponed sale referred to is the one currently in session .


..............................................





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Students defy Myanmar protest ban at ASEAN summit


REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Daniel Babiak, 20, from Canada (L), Mark B (full last name not given), 24, from The Netherlands (C), and Pia Muzaffar, 22, from Britain (R), walk during a peaceful vigil on Orchard Road, close to the venue of the 13th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore November 19, 2007.

A small group of inernational students at Singapore universities sought to defy a ban on protests in the city-state on Monday, calling for democracy in Myanmar at a summit of South East Asian nations.


uk.reuters.com


..............................................



Photographer: Jonathan Drake/Bloomberg News

Police warn University of Singapore overseas students demonstrating against Myanmar's military junta against entering the vicinity of the Shangri-La Hotel, venue of the 13th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in Singapore, Nov. 19, 2007.



Photographer: Jonathan Drake/Bloomberg News

Police monitor and film three University of Singapore overseas students protesting Myanmar's military junta, venue of the 13th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in Singapore, Nov. 19, 2007.

xs.to hosting


.................................................. .......


ASEAN leaders to confront Myanmar


(AFP/Pool)

Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win is flanked by counterparts from Singapore, George Yeo (L) and Indonesia, Hassan Wirajuda (R) at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore. Southeast Asian leaders Monday prepared to confront Myanmar for the first time since the junta's crackdown on dissent, as the region faced mounting pressure to rein in its errant member state

turkishpress.com


..............................................


ASEAN countries oppose Singapore's plan for UN envoy to brief their summit

snip

Myanmar objected to the briefing and other ASEAN countries, except Singapore, supported Myanmar, a senior Malaysian official told Malaysian journalists. The Associated Press heard a recording of the interview.

"We do not agree to Gambari having a special session. If he wants to meet individually then go ahead, but don't use the summit," said the official. He spoke on condition he was not identified because it would embarrass Singapore.

An Indonesian official also said the invitation to Gambari was unacceptable.

"When they (Singapore) extended the invitation to Gambari they did not consult others. At least Indonesia opposed the plan," said the official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Faced with such strong opposition, Singapore was likely to call off the briefing. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was expected to announce it later Monday, according to the Malaysian official.

snip

iht.com


...................................


URGENT - Philippines president: Myanmar human rights issue could scotch new charter for Southeast Asia
GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer
November 19, 2007 6:14 AM


SINGAPORE (AP) - The president of the Philippines warned Monday that her nation's congress would probably not approve a landmark charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations unless Myanmar's military government eases a crackdown on internal opposition.

The new ASEAN charter would set up enforceable financial, trade and environmental rules for its 10 members, and must be ratified by member nations' legislatures to go into effect.

The U.S. and other nations have strongly criticized ASEAN for its relatively conciliatory approach toward the junta controlling Myanmar, a bloc member that crushed peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in late September, killing at least 15 people. The junta also has been keeping pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

''The expectation of the Philippines is that if Myanmar signs the charter, it is committed to returning to the path of democracy and releasing Aung San Suu Kyi,'' Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said. ''Until the Philippine congress sees that happen, it would have extreme difficulty in ratifying the ... charter.''

She spoke during a meeting with Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein ahead of a meeting of heads of ASEAN nations, and repeated the comments at a dinner with other leaders.

snip

newspress.com


...................................



Myanmar's detained Suu Kyi taken to state guesthouse
Mon Nov 19, 2007

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was taken on Monday from the Yangon villa where she has been held for the past four years to a state guesthouse, diplomatic sources said.

There was no immediate word on the purpose of the trip, although the most likely explanation was to meet Aung Kyi, a senior member of the ruling military junta appointed as a go-between after September's pro-democracy protests.

"They are supposed to be meeting every week," a Western diplomat who declined to be named told Reuters.

If so, it would be their third meeting since Aung Kyi's appointment as a result of world outrage at the military crackdown, which the junta says killed 15 people. Western diplomats say the toll is much higher.

snip

reuters.com


..............................................



No Compromise, Says Junta Mouthpiece
By Wai Moe
November 19, 2007



Burmese protesters residing in Japan holds a huge picture of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a march demanding to urge for more action by the international community against their country's military junta, in Tokyo on November 11. [Photo: Reuters]

Burmese state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday that there was “no reason to hold further discussions with any person or any organization except at the National Convention,” despite the ongoing meetings between pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese Minister for Relations, Aung Kyi.

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................






Riot at concert after rapper arrested

Nov 19, 2007 (DVB)–Burmese rapper G-Tone was taken away by police as he left the stage at a concert last night after he showed a religious tattoo to the crowd during his performance, according to an audience member.

During a hip hop festival at Mya Yeik Nyo hotel at around 9pm, G-Tone took off his shirt and turned his back to the audience to reveal a tattoo of two hands clasped in a prayer position holding prayer beads.

Immediately after the gesture, police and fire brigade officials went towards the stage to arrest him, but were persuaded by other musicians to wait until the end of his set to avoid making a scene.

As soon as G-Tone left the stage, he was arrested and handcuffed by the police, still in view of the crowd.

The rapper’s arrest provoked an angry reaction from the crowd, who started shouting at the police.

In response, the police went into the crowd and began beating up audience members, who were mostly young people and high school students, including 8th and 9th graders.

The incident grew into a riot as the audience became increasingly angry at the police.

When other musicians tried to intervene to stop the police, they too were hit, including popular hip hop musicians Kyat Pha and Yatha, who was kicked when he tried to stop the police.

Kyat Pha’s band 9mm has been banned by the regime for distributing political songs by other artists at a concert.

The manager of the Mya Yeik Nyo hotel told the other musicians to calm the crowd by telling them G-Tone had gone home and had not been arrested, and the show was brought to a premature end.

It is not clear if G-Tone is being held by police or has been released.

Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no

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Police arrest Thai plantation owner on murder charges in slayings of 5 Myanmar employees
The Associated Press
Published: November 18, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand: Police have arrested a corn plantation owner for the execution-style slayings of five of his workers from neighboring Myanmar, authorities said Monday.

Prayoon Kareeradej, 37, owner of the plantation, and a Thai employee were arrested Sunday after police found the burned remains of five bodies, and surviving Myanmar workers identified them as the attackers, said Police Lt. Col. Teng Boonsong in Mae Sot, 380 kilometers (240 miles) northwest of Bangkok on the Myanmar border.

The wives of the five victims reported to police that their husbands had disappeared after being taken away from the plantation last Sept. 9.

Police said that Prayoon and two other Thai men seized the five because they were angry that they had stolen five sacks of corn.

They were handcuffed and shot execution-style in their heads, and two other Myanmar laborers were forced to burn their bodies at the site, Teng said.

Police said the third suspect was still being sought.

The three could face the death penalty if found guilty.

More than 1 million Myanmar workers are employed in fishing, agriculture and other industries in Thailand, many of them living in substandard conditions and subject to abuse by employers.

iht.com


..............................................


Rape and killed in western Burma
Sunday, 18 November 2007

A young girl was raped and killed by Burma’s border Security Force on November 17, while she was grazing cattle in a hill side of Arakan state, Burma, said a relative of the victim.

The victim (11), daughter of Ali (change name), hailed from Nazi Para of Ray Aung San Bwe village tract of Nasaka area No.1 of Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, Burma , the relative more added.

The victim at about 11:00, accompanied by two other local girls went to nearby a grazing ground with their cattle for grazing. Later they (three young girls) went to a stream for fishing. While they were fishing in the stream, a Nasaka personnel of Nasaka outpost of area No. 1 of Maungdaw Township, went there and threatened the two of them who are younger than a victim with his catapult and the two girls fled to their village and the rest one was forced to stay with him, according to one of the relatives of two girls.

The said Nasaka brought a teenage girl to a nearby dry place and killed after rape. Meanwhile, the fled two young girls informed the event to a victim’s parents and villagers.

Hearing the news, the parents of victim accompanied by relatives and some villagers went to the spot after giving information to the concerned authorities. They found the dead body of victim at around 1:00 pm, without any clothes in her body. Seeing the dead body, her mother was going to puzzle. After that, the dead body was brought to the Nasaka camp and informed in detail of the event, said a village elder.

The rapist and killer of the Nasaka was known to the said two girls as they see him everyday, while they are going to grazing ground with their cattle. Therefore, the culprit was arrested by the Nasaka officer (captain) of Nasaka outpost, the elder added.

The father of rape victim asked Nasaka officer to give permission to bury his daughter at the local cemetery, but the officer did not give him permission as the matter was not small, the officer said. Therefore, the dead body was again brought to Bawli Bazar Nasaka camp No. 22, about 24 miles away from the Nazir Para, and reached there at about mid night, for further query, said a friend of rape victim’s father.

After arrival of dead body at Bawli Bazar and was sent to Bawli Bazar government clinic morgue for autopsy. Before the autopsy report of doctor, the police and Nasaka officer ordered the relatives to bury the body in Bali Bazar local cemetery. So, the relatives are taking preparation to bury the body at Bawli Bazar, about 12:00 noon today. But, the parents did not get medical report till the writing report.

When contacted, a village elder from Bawli Bazar said, “It is not a human behavior as she is only 11-year old. We hope that some exemplary punishment will be given to the culprit.”

bnionline.net


..............................................


Monks not allowed entry to Rangoon without recommendations
Mon 19 Nov 2007
IMNA

Monks from the rural countryside in Burma have been banned from entering Rangoon unless they have recommendations.

Monks will be allowed to enter Rangoon for just medical treatment if they can show recommendations from the hospital at train and bus termini.

A monk who recently returned from Rangoon said the authorities are allowing monks to enter Rangoon if they have recommendations from doctors, the name of the monastery where they intend to stay, and also credentials from the monks of the monastery where they want to put up.

If the recommendations are incomplete, the authorities are not permitting monks to enter Rangoon. They are being sent back in the bus they came.

snip

monnews-imna.com


..............................................

How Many Monks were Killed in the Pro-democracy Uprising?
By Saw Yan Naing
November 19, 2007

The death of an abbot, the Ven. U Thilavantha of Yuzana Kyaunghtai Monastery in Myitkyina, is the most recent evidence of monks who sacrificed their lives for the pro-democracy uprising, renewing the question: How many monks died as a result of the demonstrations?

A Sri Lanka-educated Buddhist scholar, U Thilavantha who served as teacher to about 200 student monks, was arrested on September 25. He died in Myitkyina Hospital on September 26 from injuries he received when he was beaten by soldiers and security forces, according to Thailand’s Mae Sot-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

However, authorities forced a pathologist to record the cause of death as heart disease, said the AAPP.

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................


Two More Arrested for Involvement in Murder of Five Burmese Migrants
By Shah Paung
November 19, 2007

Two more people were arrested in Thailand on Monday, suspected of involvement in the murder of five Burmese migrant workers, according to a relative of one of the dead.

Lay Khine, 25 year-old sister of one Than Tun, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that two Burmese migrant workers, who were allegedly forced to burn the bodies of her brother and other relatives, today identified the place where the bodies had been burned to the police and other local authorities.

The dead were named as: Than Tun, 35; Thein Aung, 50; Paw Oo, 28; Naing Lin, 18; and Kala Gyi, 27.

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................


UN envoy Gambari briefing on Myanmar to Asian leaders cancelled - Malaysia
19/11/2007

SINGAPORE (Thomson Financial) - Southeast Asian leaders have called off a briefing by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on the situation in Myanmar after the junta objected, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told AFP.

"The briefing is off. Myanmar feels that they deal with the UN and it is their own domestic matter," Syed Hamid told AFP in an interview as leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held informal talks.

"This evening, Myanmar objected and we base our decisions on consensus."

orange.advfn.com


..............................................






U Gambira (m), aged 27, Buddhist monk
Aung Kyaw Kyaw (m), National League for Democracy (NLD) member, Pauk township, Magway Division, brother of U Gambira
Min Lwin (m), father of U Gambira
Su Su Nway (f), aged 36, NLD member and labour activist


Reports have recently emerged of the arrest of Buddhist monk U Gambira on 4 November, as well as the arrests of his brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw and father Min Lwin in October.
Their current whereabouts are not known.

Well-known labour rights activist Su Su Nway was arrested just over a week later, on 13 November.
She is detained in Insein Prison, Yangon.

U Gambira is one of the leaders of the peaceful demonstrations that began in August this year after a sharp rise in fuel prices. He headed the All-Burma Monks Alliance (ABMA), formed to support the mass demonstrations. He had been in hiding since the violent crackdown on protestors between 26 and 29 September, and was known to be on a list of people wanted by the authorities.

While in hiding he had given interviews to overseas media. He is believed to have been charged with treason for his role in leading the demonstrations, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Other members of his family were arrested as "hostages" in an attempt to force him out of hiding, including his brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw, who was arrested in October, and his father Min Lwin.
Both Aung Kyaw Kyaw and Min Lwin are still detained.

Su Su Nway, a member of the youth wing of the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was arrested on 13 November, during the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar's visit to the country to investigate the recent crackdown. Su Su Nway is reported to have been arrested in the city of Yangon, after attempting to put up leaflets near the hotel where the Special Rapporteur was staying. At least one other person was arrested at the same time. Su Su Nway, who took part in the August demonstrations, had been in hiding since those suspected of leading the protests were arrested around 21/22 August.

She had previously been imprisoned after successfully taking legal action against village authorities over their use of forced labour. The officials concerned received prison terms, following which Su Su Nway was charged with criminal intimidation and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in October 2005. She was released in June 2006.

AI Index: ASA 16/040/2007 16 November 2007

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Old 20-11-2007, 11:13 AM   #1511 (permalink)
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Junta “eliminating” soldiers who fired on monks
10/17/2007 13:03
MYANMAR

The generals are trying to get rid of evidence and witnesses to the late September repression should they be called to account some time in the future. Meanwhile arrests continue as do pro-government demonstrations organised by the military regime. Some ethnic Burmese are dressed up in ethnic minorities clothing to show minorities’ support for the government against the West. ASEAN only expresses support for UN initiative, refuses to implement sanctions against the junta.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Repression in Myanmar is now turning against the army that carried it out. Reliable sources in the country told AsiaNews that rumours are circulating Mandalay and Yangon according to which the junta is physically “eliminating” the soldiers that shot at monks and protesters in late September in anti-regime demonstrations in order to get rid of evidence and witnesses should they be called to account for ordering the violence.

In a brief announcement on state TV, the junta said that people involved in the demonstrations caused by fuel price hikes are still being detained. Out of 2,927 people arrested, 468 remain in prison. However, these numbers refer only to people taken into custody on September 26 and 27 when tension was at its peak. Since then the military has continued to arrest opponents by using photos taken during the marches to identify people. Unofficial estimates put the number of those in prison at over 6,000.

Along with arrests and torture, the military’s propaganda campaign continues. By organising pro-regime rallies, the junta is trying to turn the population against Western countries, which it holds responsible for the crisis and the monk-led movement.

snip

asianews.it


..............................................


Philippines salvages Gambari visit after his address to Asian summit canceled
The Associated Press
Published: November 20, 2007

SINGAPORE: U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari's planned address on Myanmar to Asian leaders was canceled abruptly, but his trip to Singapore was partly salvaged by the Philippines, which said Tuesday it will seek a briefing from him.

Gambari will meet with Philippine President Arroyo Macapagal Arroyo to discuss his efforts to restore democracy in the military-ruled country, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo said.

He said he and other officials will also sit in at the meeting. Gambari was already en route from New York when host Singapore called off his summit address at midnight Monday following objections by Myanmar.

snip

iht.com


..............................................


UN envoy 'disappointed' over cancelled Myanmar briefing
20 November 2007

Singapore. The United Nations special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, said Tuesday he was "disappointed" by the decision to cancel his briefing to Southeast Asian leaders meeting here.

When asked by AFP for his reaction to Monday's decision by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Myanmar is a member, he replied: "Disappointed, of course."

"That was why I came here," he added.

focus-fen.net


...................................


Activists attack ASEAN on lack of Myanmar pressure



(Zainal Abd Halim/Reuters)

Demonstrators stage a skit during a protest outside the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur November 20, 2007, urging the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to suspend Myanmar's membership.

The skit mocked Myanmar's crackdown on monks and protesters. Southeast Asian nations were set to sign a charter on Tuesday that aims for free trade and human rights, but controversy over member Myanmar has marred the landmark deal.

news.yahoo.com


...................................



The title is "we all know who is the real saviour of burma."




..............................................



Prime Minister Thein Sein in chair
20.11.2007


snip

As had been stated in the statement issued by the ASEAN Chair in New York in September, the Leaders reiterated that the Myanmar Government should continue to work with the UN in order to:

a. Open up a meaningful dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD);

b. Make full use of the good offices of the UN Secretary-General and Professor Gambari in this process;

c. Lift restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and release all political detainees;

d. Work towards a peaceful transition to democracy; and

e. Address the economic difficulties faced by the people of Myanmar.

The Leaders emphasised that they will strive to prevent the Myanmar issue from obstructing ASEAN’s integration efforts, especially the ASEAN Charter and the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

live-pr.com


...................................


Activists test Singapore with ASEAN protests
11/20/2007
Agence France-Presse

SINGAPORE - Activists in Singapore challenged the city-state's tough laws on public demonstrations at a regional summit Tuesday, with three separate incidents including a gathering of 40 Myanmar protesters.

Two members of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party were bundled into police vans and taken away from the area where Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders were holding their annual talks.

But in the biggest incident so far, some 40 Myanmar citizens held a large banner reading: "Listen to Burma's Desires, Don't Follow Junta's Order" as they gathered at Singapore's main shopping area on the Orchard Road strip.

It was one of the largest public protests seen in recent memory in Singapore, which has tight rules against demonstrations.

But in a soft approach that has characterised police tactics so far, the protesters dispersed peacefully after some 20 police officers approached them following 15 minutes of their rally and asked if they had finished.

It was the latest in a series of protests against Myanmar's military regime, which is under fire for its violent campaign to shut down mass anti-government demonstrations in its main city Yangon in September.

Earlier Tuesday, four Singapore activists were barred from delivering a greeting card bearing the image of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to the ASEAN summit.

Wearing T-shirts with the message, "We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma", they proceeded down Orchard Road under the watchful eye of police.

When they reached the approach road to the heavily guarded hotel where the meeting is being held, they were stopped by police who refused to let them pass and arranged for an ASEAN official to collect the card.

Measuring about two feet (60 centimetres), it contained about 40 signatures and messages which organisers said were mostly from Myanmar people.

"What has been done in Burma should not be condoned," said one of the protesters, Chia Tilik.

On Monday, another group of nine foreign students from Singapore universities tested the city-state's laws, which ban protests of five or more people without a permit, by marching in small groups along Orchard Road.

Carrying candles and wearing the same red T-shirts as Tuesday's group, they later dispersed without incident.

abs-cbnnews.com


..............................................


Quote:
5:30p.m Many police officers are station at Orchard Road and people are just wearing normal cloths and just station around after 6:45p.m we started to go out 3person in one line we have almost 100

infront of three holding benner "Listen to Burma's desired" Don't listen Junta's Orderd.

All are wearing Read T-shirt with "We pursue Peace,Justice & Democracy for Burma all media are present and interview was attach

many people are around and police was arrived after 40 minutes later and we peacefully stop. at the time all photo shooting was over

In front of Media police are not arrest. and we are not shouting slogan we just standing and walk but we have not much work just standing











myochitmyanmar.blogspot.com


..............................................


Play Vid
Burma's struggle for democracy continues following the military junta's crackdown on anti-government protests.

news.bbc.co.uk

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Old 21-11-2007, 09:39 AM   #1512 (permalink)
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A good sign that the Singapore authorities didn't stop the protesters . . . now if they could only be so liberal vis-a-vis protests against their own system.
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Old 21-11-2007, 03:14 PM   #1513 (permalink)
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November 21, 2007 Wednesday
Video News



Following Monday's peaceful but small demonstration along Orchard Road by a group of nine students, a string of similar activities sprung up around town today.

In what could be one of the largest street gathering by activists in recent years, over 40 Burmese nationals living in Singapore came together outside Orchard Parade Hotel in a peaceful protest against the junta.

Earlier in the day, four Singaporeans marched towards the summit venue holding a petition, while a member of an opposition party was led away by police in a separate incident.

Claire Huang reports.
Duration: 3 min 41 secs
straitstimes.com


..............................................


Arroyo takes parting shot at Myanmar with strong criticism before leaving summit
The Associated Press
Published: November 21, 2007

snip

"Let me be very clear. We ... remain concerned about the pace of progress of Myanmar on the issue of human rights," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

"We particularly deplore the treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi," the pro-democracy leader who remains under house arrest. "She must be released, now," Arroyo told reporters before cutting short her visit to Singapore by a day.

snip

But Arroyo said Myanmar was still not off the ASEAN hook.

"We will not rest in the pursuit of justice and reconciliation in Myanmar. We must be active in advocating peaceful reforms in that nation. It is good for Myanmar, for ASEAN and the world," she said before heading to the airport.

snip

But "we remain concerned that the forces of authoritarianism still move rather slowly toward democracy in Myanmar," she said.

Arroyo was returning home early to focus on the needs of the people likely to be hit by a typhoon that is expected to make landfall in eastern Philippines this week.

snip

iht.com


..............................................



Myanmar's Prime Minister Thein Sein, left, talks to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, right, before starting the opening session of the 3rd East Asia Summit on the sidelines of the 13th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, in Singapore, on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007.
(AP Photo/Rolex Dela Pena, Pool)


.................................................. .......


Myanmar top natural gas producer in Asia
Indo-Asian News Service
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 (Yangon):




Myanmar is the biggest producer of natural gas in Asia and has the potential to ascend higher globally because many gas projects remain to be implemented, Yangon Times reported on Wednesday.

Currently, the country ranks 10th at the world level with its gas sale, up from 11th previously, while it represents the first in Asia, the daily quoted the World Energy magazine as saying.

Myanmar started production and export of gas to Thailand in the late 1990s through a pipeline from the Yadana field in the gulf of Mottama, and Yetagun field off the Tanintharyi coast.

Energy authorities of Myanmar and Thailand have been negotiating the construction of a marine, joint-venture natural gas pipeline since September for more export of gas to Thailand from the M-9 block in Myanmar's Mottama offshore area, officials disclosed.

The Thai PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) Public Co Ltd, which has been engaged in gas exploration at the block, has so far found large commercial gas deposits at seven test wells since 2005.

With a total of estimated gas reserve of more than 226.5 billion cubic-meters (BCM) and a production rate of about 8.49 billion cubic-meters (MCM) per day, the M-9 field is expected to be able to produce gas and export to Thailand by late 2011.

In recent years, the country also found huge gas deposits in the Shwe and Shwephyu fields at block A-1 in 2004 and the Mya field at block A-3 in 2005.

ndtvprofit.com


...................................



Te Za grabs Phakant jade mines behind junta's back
November 20, 2007
KNG



Te Za, President and Managing Director of Htoo Trading Company has grabbed control of almost all Phakant jade mining areas in Kachin State in Northern Burma, according to jade miners.

Since early this year, several jade mining companies could not procure jade mining blocks directly from Burma's Ministry of Mines and they had to buy the blocks from Te Za's Htoo Trading Company, a local jade dealer told KNG today. Te Za has the blessings of junta supremo Sr-Gen Than.

Each jade mining block is one acre (4,000 square meters) but the jade mining companies had to buy it from Te Za's Htoo Trading Company, shelling out premium prices of between Kyat 80 million (US $ 60,377) and Kyat 3,000 million (US $ 226,415) per block. The blocks are leased out on a three-year basis, jade dealers said.

In previous years, the Ministry of Mines had sold all jade mining blocks through tender and competitive bidding systems to mining companies but the system was changed since early this year, the dealers added.

Under the system of Burmese ruling junta's profit sharing basis, Te Za who is close to junta supremo Sr-Gen Than Shwe, occupied Phakant (Hpakan) jade mining areas by cooperating with major jade mining companies in Phakant including Myanmar Dagaung Co. Ltd and Morning Light instead of using his company name-- Htoo Trading Company, said Kachin jade leaders.

Now, heavy machines such as bulldozers, digging machines and trucks are seen everywhere in Phakant and Lonkin jade mining areas, eyewitnesses
said.

snip

kachinnews.com

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.


.................................................. .......


1,705 jade lots sold within four days
Wednesday, November 21, 2007.

Yangon, 20 Nov-Mid-year Gems Emporium 2007 continued at the Myanmar Convention Center on Mindhamma Road, Mayangon Township, here, this morning.

Patron of Myanma Gems Emporium Central Committee Minister for Mines Brig-Gen Ohn Myint visited the emporium and cordially greeted the gem merchants.

Altogether 440 jade lots were sold through tender system today. So far 1705 jade lots have been sold from 17 November to today. Remaining jade lots will be sold up to 26 November.

A total of 3596 gem merchants from home and abroad are attending the sales. More gem merchants will arrive.

myanmar.com


...................................


Chinese military vehicles and equipment enter Burma



Nov 21, 2007 (DVB)–Sources on the China-Burma border have claimed that Chinese military equipment and vehicles have been sent into the country over the past month at the Jiang Hkong border crossing.

Jiang Hkong is located in Yunnan province in China, across the border from Muse on the Burmese side.

Local source from the border said that the police chief of Yunnan province had met Khin Ye, a Burmese police chief, in Jiang Hkong on Monday.

The Chinese police chief reportedly handed over equipment for detecting explosives and mines to Khin Ye for use at Naypyidaw airport.

Local residents in Muse said they had seen seven Chinese-made flatbed trucks parked in front of Kaung hotel on the Muse-Mandalay highway overnight in the second week of November.

The following morning the trucks then drove off in the direction of Mandalay.


Reporting by DVB
english.dvb.no

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Old 22-11-2007, 11:41 AM   #1514 (permalink)
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UN rights expert urges 'less talk, more action' on Myanmar
Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 21 Nov 2007


GENEVA, Nov 21, 2007 (AFP) - The UN's independent human rights expert for Myanmar on Wednesday urged the international community to show "less talk and more action" after a recent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

The international community "must continue keeping high in their agenda the situation in the country," special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told journalists.

"If this concern will be weakened, I think that a good opportunity will be lost for an opening, a real political transition in the country," he said. "The international community must demonstrate more competence, less talk and more action," he stressed.

snip

However, "I am not sure if the government has really taken a decision to truly launch a political opening," he said.

snip

reliefweb.int


..............................................


‘I Wanted Democracy’
By Lennox Samuels
Nov 19, 2007

He was jailed and forced out of his traditional robes after Burmese soldiers arrested him during the junta's crackdown. A monk's tale.


AP
Burmese security forces arrested an unknown number of monks during the September anti-government protests

snip

newsweek.com


..............................................



The Silence of the Monasteries
By Lennox Samuels
Nov 19, 2007

The junta has stopped the protests. The big question now is where have all the monks gone?


Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
In spite of the religious significance of Burma's pagodas, the number of monks at these sites has dropped dramatically since the September crackdown

snip

newsweek.com


..............................................



Yes, Big Brother Is Watching
By Lennox Samuels
Nov 21, 2007

In a land of government lunacy, residents need official permission to use the phone and to travel across town. An on-scene journal from beleaguered Burma.


Khin Maung Win / AFP-Getty Images
The junta keeps tight rein on daily life in Burma

The ramshackle taxis that clog downtown Rangoon look ready for the scrap heap. No American auto dealer would offer more than a few hundred dollars for any of these aging and shabby cars, but here, in this impoverished nation, the drivers have paid up to $20,000 for the privilege of ownership. The reason: ordinary Burmese say they are not allowed to import or buy new cars. That's the prerogative of diplomats, foreign-company employees, the fortunate rich and, of course, the military regime.

The prohibition against new-car ownership is just one of the myriad rules the junta imposes in its obsession with controlling every aspect of Burma. While it pays lip service to "true patriotism," the government goes out of its way to make things as difficult as possible for its citizens. Small wonder most Burmese scoff at the generals' trumpeted national manifesto, which includes the objective to "uplift … the morale and morality of the entire nation."

In this Orwellian society, not only are some people more equal than others, Big Brother is always watching as well. "This is a police state," a Western diplomat says flatly. Xenophobia, paranoia and awareness of its own illegitimacy have led the junta to construct a form of governing that leaves no room for flexibility, let alone freedom, says a fugitive member of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. I meet him in a darkened office after first walking more than 15 blocks, occasionally stopping to look over my shoulder or loiter in front of a shop for fear I was being followed. The regime's policies, ostensibly aimed at maintaining "law and order," often border on lunacy. Consider the "internal visas." Even by the standards of authoritarian societies, these domestic travel curbs are extreme. Burmese who live in one part of town and want to spend the night or a few days with a friend or relative who lives in another part of the same city must first get permission from local officials—appropriately called wardens—and pay a fee. Foreigners, the relatively few who are allowed in, are restricted to a particular geographical area, unless they get permission to go elsewhere. In Mandalay a foreigner crossing the street from the Sedona Hotel to tour historic Shwe Nandaw Palace must present $10 cash—and his passport.

snip

newsweek.com


..............................................



irrawaddy.org

Than Shwe: I will walk out of the meeting if Gambari comes to give the presentation.

Asean: Please..please don't walk out. We will cancel our invitation to him.

Than Shwe: I will not sign the new Asean charter if I am not allow to kill monks and students.

Asean: Please..please, I beg you. Please sign the charter and you can carry on killing the monks and children.

Than Shwe: I will leave Asean if I am not allowed to do what I want to do.

Asean: I am begging you again. Please don't leave Asean but you can do whatever you want to do. We will protect you. You are our faimly member.

Thank to Sword for a Sword , the one who wrote this.
ko-htike.blogspot.com


...................................


Myanmar opposition says arrests undermine talks
Thu Nov 22, 2007
By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's National League for Democracy condemned on Thursday the arrest of two prominent politicians, saying it undermined talks to build "mutual confidence" between the opposition and military junta.

Myint Naing, a senior NLD member, and Pu Chin Sian Thang, chairman of the Zomi National Congress (ZNC) party, were detained by police on Tuesday, family and opposition sources said.

Their arrests came a day after detained NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi met for a third time with General Aung Kyi, the junta's go-between appointed as a result of global outrage at September's crackdown on democracy protests.

"The military government should not be making these arrests at this point while we are trying to build mutual confidence," NLD spokesman Nyan Win said.

Pu Chin, 69, is an open critic of the regime who has now been arrested nine times by the military which has ruled the former Burma since 1962.
He was last detained on September 27, at the height of the crackdown which Western diplomats say killed many more than the official toll of 15, and released a month later.

"The police officer told us he would be sent back shortly, but he isn't back home yet," a relative said. "We don't know anything about his whereabouts".

snip

The so-called '88 Generation leaders jailed in Yangon's notorious Insein Prison were allowed rare visits by family members on Wednesday.

"We were allowed to meet for 30 minutes in the presence of a security official who took notes," said Ko Aung, who had not seen his older brother, former '88 leader Ko Ko Gyi, since August 21.

"We understand we will be able to meet once a week," he said.

(Editing by Darren Schuettler and Roger Crabb)
reuters.com


...............................................


Burma’s Bangkok Embassy Seeks Names of Student Protesters
By Shah Paung
November 22, 2007

Burma’s embassy in Bangkok is reportedly asking universities in the Thai capital to provide lists of their Burmese students as part of a follow-up to anti-regime demonstrations there in late September.

One student who took part in the demonstration outside the Burmese embassy on September 30 has had his application for a passport renewal rejected, and several others say they fear similar reprisals.

Student sources report that Bangkok’s Assumption University, also known as ABAC, has been asked by the Burmese embassy to provide a list of Burmese attending courses there. Students at the city’s Mahidol University say teaching staff there had warned them about the Burmese request.

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................



Junta gives Yuzana Company contract to rebuild Ledo Road
November 21, 2007
KNG



The Rangoon-based Yuzana Company chaired by U Htay Myint has been granted a contract by the Burmese military junta to rebuild the Burma section of World War II Indo-Burma-China Road called the Ledo Road in Northern Burma, said sources close to the regime.

Copies of the official contract between the junta and the Yuzana Company for reconstruction of the 120-mile stretch between Myitkyina and Danai (Tanai) in Kachin State, were sent to the junta's Forestry and Land Registry offices in Danai (Tanai), two months ago, according to Danai government personnel.

Under this contract, the company is authorized to collect tax on the road for 30 years by the ruling junta. Road construction equipment can be seen on the road, said residents of Hukawng (Hugawng) Valley through which the Ledo Road passes.

Last year, the Myitkyina-based Kachin jade tycoon Sutdu Yup Zau Hkawng's Jadeland Company was approached to rebuild the road by the junta but the deal fell through for unknown reasons, according to Jadeland Company sources.

Htay Myint's Yuzana Company has been granted over 200,000 acres (1 acre = 4,000 square meters) including areas in the World's largest tiger reserve and land belonging to native people in Hukawng Valley by the ruling junta, since last year.



At the moment, the company is growing mainly sugar cane and cassava plants in about 3,000 acres but new crop plantations have been extended to Dumbang and Warazup villages by clearing forests, said residents.

The reconstruction of over 50 mile stretch from Myitkyina to Kambaiti, another part of the Indo-Burma-Sino Road in Burma, was completed on April 26 this year. It was rebuilt by the Chinese government.

The Ledo Road is 1,079 miles long and stretches from Ledo village in Assam State in India to Kunming in Yunnan Province in China. The road was renamed Stilwell Road in honour of General Joseph Warren Stilwell, Chief of Staff of the Allied Forces in China-Burma-India theatre present to defend Burma (Myanmar) from Japanese forces during World War II. The Ledo Road was constructed between 1942 – 1945.

The double-track and all-weather Stilwell Road construction was estimated to cost 137 million US dollars.

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.

kachinnews.com


...................................


Myitsone dam threatens thousands of villagers with displacement
November 22, 2007
KNG



The Myitsone dam project on the Irrawaddy River in Kachin State,Northern Burma being constructed in the joint sector by China and the Burmese military junta, threatens to displace tens of thousands of villagers surrounding the dam site, according to environmental activist groups.

A recent report "Damming the Irrawaddy" released by Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) has noted in its executive summary that the project will flood an estimated 47 villages around Myitsone and displace over 10,000 villagers.

KDNG is a network of Kachin civil society groups and development organizations in Kachin State and overseas set up in 2004. The KEO was formed in April 2004 by Kachin people concerned about environmental issues in Kachin Stat "The dam in Myitsone will not benefit Kachin people," said Yaw Na, a member or KDNG and a coordinator of The Kachin Environmental Organization (KEO).

"Obviously, we can see what will happen once the dam is built. The Burmese government will sell the power generated to China while local people are deprived of electricity," he added.

snip

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.

kachinnews.com


...................................



The junta seals main gate to KIO HQ, people in a spot
November 21, 2007
KNG



In an attempt mount further pressure, Burma's ruling military junta has sealed the main gate to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Headquarters, in the Laiza controlled area on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State, in the north of the country as of 9 p.m. yesterday local time, KIO sources said. All pedestrian and vehicular movement across the gate has come to a halt.

People, cars and motorcycles from both KIO and the junta controlled areas have been stopped from crossing the junta's Lajayang Gate close to the Laiza Headquarters on Myitkyina-Bhamo highway, residents of Laiza and Lajayang said.

"The gate was closed at 9 p.m. last night. No people, cars or motorcycles are being allowed to cross the gate by the Burmese Army.

Travellers from both controlled areas are in deep trouble," a resident of Lajayang told KNG this evening.

Lajayang Gate is the key border export and import exit and entry point of both Burmese and Chinese merchants in Kachin State. On an average there are more than 100 passengers and cars crossing the gate daily. Now every kind of movement has come to a halt.

KIO officials said this is the latest instance of pressure on the KIO by the junta because of the KIO's refusal to its demand to counter democracy leader Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's November 8 statement released in Singapore by the UN special envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari —where she stated she will talk to the ruling junta on behalf of political parties and ethnic nationalities.

snip

About the author: The Kachin News Group (KNG) is a non-profit, an independent media organization and covering Kachin, Burma and regional issues.

kachinnews.com


...................................


Two Burmese child soldiers flee from Battalion
Written by Webmaster
Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Teknaf, Bangladesh: Two Burmese child soldiers fled from their battalion No. 564 of Buthidaung Township in Arakan State on November 12, according to sources close to the army.

The child soldiers are Hla Moe (17) from Sittwe and Zaya Aung (17) from Burma. Hla Moe is a Rakhine and Zaya Aung is a Burman. They were forcibly recruited by the army three years ago, he added.

snip

kaladanpress.org


...............................................


Mizzima News (Mizzima News - Specialising in Burma-Related News and Multimedia)

November 22, 2007 - Pu Cin Sian Thang, an ethnic political leader in Rangoon, has been arrested by Burmese authorities on Wednesday, a family member said.

"My father was taken by two police officers at about 8 in the morning today [Wednesday]. He has not yet returned," Pu Cin Sian Thang's son told Mizzima by telephone.

Pu Cin Sian Thang, an ethnic Chin political leader and chairman of the Zomi National Congress, has not returned home after he was taken from his residence in Rangoon for interrogation by two police officials in the morning, his son said.

The police officers did not give any explanation for taking the ethnic leader, said his son.

snip

mizzima.com


...................................


Apocalypse Naypyidaw!
By Yeni and Aung Zaw
November 22, 2007

After living for decades under a military-ruled Burma and witnessing the junta’s bloody crackdown on monks and innocent people on the streets in September, many Burmese have begun calling for—not diplomacy—air strikes and international intervention.

No, it’s not a joke. And it’s not just the exiled Burmese who are saying this—it’s those inside Burma as well.


An artist’s impression on striking at Than Shwe’s residence in Naypyidaw

Here are some of the excerpts from Burmese people who broached the subject with The Irrawaddy during and after the September crackdown.

U Pinyazawta, a leading monk from the Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks, told The Irrawaddy by phone from his hiding place in Burma: “We need a foreign army to protect us,” he said, referring particularly to UN troops.

Some Burmese were even more straightforward.

“We need air strikes,” said a prominent editor and CEO of a successful privately-run publication in Burma.

He claimed many Burmese would welcome military intervention. “This is our hope,” he said. “The regime is unyielding. We have to teach them a lesson or two.”

However, it is commonly understood that most foreign observers and policy makers who are involved in Burma would simply shake their heads at the proposal.

The desire for a forceful regime change in Burma is nothing new. During the invasion of Iraq, American diplomats and US embassy staff in Burma are believed to have received a number of letters asking: “When are you coming to Burma?”

snip

Additional reporting from stringers in Burma
irrawaddy.org

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...............................................


A Myanmar suicide for the advocates of sanctions
22/ 11/ 2007



MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev) - As expected, the annual summit of the ten South East Asian nations, which form ASEAN, focused on undemocratic Myanmar.

If the latter did not exist, the summit would have habitually produced a package of documents on economic integration in this part of the world. The conflict among the ten over Myanmar shows that integration, free trade and the like are too closely connected with ideology and other political changes in any region of the world.

This is what has happened at the summit. The Philippines, which is the most peripheral and alien ASEAN member, has warned its partners that if all of them do not compel Myanmar to establish a more democratic regime, its senate may decide not to endorse the ASEAN Charter. The latter has been the key event of the Singapore summit from the very start. It will not become valid if it is not ratified by every single ASEAN member.

snip

en.rian.ru


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Pinheiro story banned by censors


Nov 22, 2007 (DVB)–A Burmese news journal was forced by the censor board to cover up its front-page news story on the United Nations special rapporteur’s visit to the country, according to the journal’s editor.

The 7 Days news journal had decided to run a front-page story about special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro after he gave a press conference at Rangoon airport as his visit ended on 15 November.

Myo Tha Htet, editor of the journal, said they had to cover the story with silver ink as they had already printed the issue while they were waiting for approval of the draft from the censor board.

"Maybe they think the news is a bit sensitive to be featured on the front page,” he said.

“We had to spend some extra money to re-print another story on top of the column covered in silver ink."

Zin Lin, the deputy director of the Burma Media Association, said the ban demonstrated the level of restrictions faced by the media in Burma.

"It is very obvious that Burma does not allow press freedom in the country,” he said.

“Maybe the government is trying to prevent Mr. Pinheiro from becoming familiar to the Burmese people. Also, I think they do not want people to hear Mr. Pinheiro's opinions on Burma."

Pinheiro was sent to Burma with a mandate from the UN’s Human Rights Council to investigate the popular protests and government crackdown in the country in September and October.

His press conference on 15 November provided details of the people he had met and places he had visited during his trip, but did not contain any information on his findings.

Reporting by Htet Yazar
english.dvb.no


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Junta releases demonstrators but only so that they can die at home
11/21/2007
MYANMAR – UNITED NATIONS

Sources tell AsiaNews that some prisoners freed as a token of the generals’ good will survive only for a few days as a result of the inhumane treatment received whilst in prison.

UN resolution condemns the generals for the September crackdown, but votes in favour are less than 50 per cent.

UN Envoy Gambari is set for a new mission.



Yangon (AsiaNews) – “The international community does not want to do anything for the Burmese people; perhaps all that can be done is pray. Please, do not forget us,” said a desperate appeal, made by a group of Burmese, that reached AsiaNews.

The members of this group no longer believe in the junta’s promises, nor do they think international action can be effective. “Acts of good will like releasing protesters arrested in September are false,” they said on condition of anonymity out of security concerns.

snip

asianews.it


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Burmese Buddhist temple in Singapore halts activists' activities
Nov 23, 2007

Singapore - The Burmese Buddhist temple in Singapore has stopped activists from using the venue to stage pro-democracy activities on behalf of their homeland Myanmar, officials said Friday.

snip

The decision was made after Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo visited the shrine. The Myanmar community numbers 30,000 in the city- state.

'The temple should be a place of peace,' Lim said, not a domain for 'activists shouting slogans.'

monstersandcritics.com


...................................


from todays chat :

We are not shouting in Monestry. We are praying for all who are great for us...

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Riot at concert after rapper arrested

Nov 19, 2007 (DVB)–Burmese rapper G-Tone was taken away by police as he left the stage at a concert last night after he showed a religious tattoo to the crowd during his performance, according to an audience member.

During a hip hop festival at Mya Yeik Nyo hotel at around 9pm, G-Tone took off his shirt and turned his back to the audience to reveal a tattoo of two hands clasped in a prayer position holding prayer beads.

Immediately after the gesture, police and fire brigade officials went towards the stage to arrest him, but were persuaded by other musicians to wait until the end of his set to avoid making a scene.

As soon as G-Tone left the stage, he was arrested and handcuffed by the police, still in view of the crowd.

The rapper’s arrest provoked an angry reaction from the crowd, who started shouting at the police.

In response, the police went into the crowd and began beating up audience members, who were mostly young people and high school students, including 8th and 9th graders.

The incident grew into a riot as the audience became increasingly angry at the police.

When other musicians tried to intervene to stop the police, they too were hit, including popular hip hop musicians Kyat Pha and Yatha, who was kicked when he tried to stop the police.

Kyat Pha’s band 9mm has been banned by the regime for distributing political songs by other artists at a concert.

The manager of the Mya Yeik Nyo hotel told the other musicians to calm the crowd by telling them G-Tone had gone home and had not been arrested, and the show was brought to a premature end.

It is not clear if G-Tone is being held by police or has been released.

Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no

Burmese rapper banned from performing


Nov 22, 2007 (DVB)–Following a disturbance at a hip hop concert on Sunday, Burmese rapper G-Tone and his band Cyclone have been banned from performing on stage for one year.
The Music Association imposed the ban against G-Tone and the two other group members, Thuta and Pyi Tha, after police action against the rapper sparked a riot at the concert venue.

G-Tone had removed his shirt during his performance to reveal a tattoo on his back of two hands clasped in prayer holding prayer beads.

Police officials handcuffed the rapper as soon as he left the stage, having been persuaded by other musicians at the event to wait until his set was over.

G-Tone was not taken into custody by the police, but their actions towards him provoked an angry reaction from the crowd.

The police responded by beating audience members, escalating the incident.

Hip hop star Yatha, who tried to intervene to stop police from beating concert-goers, was also warned by the authorities not to get involved in this kind of activity again.


Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no


...................................


Ko Dee

November 22, 2007 - A decision by the Myanmar Music Association today will require singers and vocalists to submit their bio-data before performing on stage in the future. This is to prevent any unseemly scenes during the show.

The meeting of the Association today was held after a commotion broke out during the November 17 concert at the Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel in Rangoon.

snip

mizzima.com


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Thai PM says not ready to receive Myanmar leaders as he must prepare for HM the King’s birthday anniversary ceremony

In response to the planned visit of Myanmmar's junta chief Than Shwe to Thailand, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior General Surayud Chulanont said that he will be too occupied with the upcoming general election as well as preparing for events to celebrate His Majesty the King's 80th birthday anniversary . Gen Surayud further added that Gen Than Shwe's visit was routine and part of the Myanmar leader’s newly acquired position.

General Surayud has asked that the Myanmar leader move his visit until after the New Year or election. At the moment no set plans have been made concerning the time frame for Gen Than Shwe's visit.

The Prime Minister stated that Thailand’s stance on the Myanmar issue is still as was agreed on during the ASEAN summit in which time will be given to Myanmar to deal with its own internal affairs.

thainews.prd.go.th


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UWSA and KIO Abstain from Condemning Suu Kyi
By Saw Yan Naing
November 22, 2007

Two major ceasefire groups, the United Wa State Army and the Kachin Independence Organization, have been showing obvious signals of defiance against the Burmese junta—most recently by not condemning the statement, released by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on behalf of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for dialogue and national reconciliation.

The military government had previously requested all ethnic ceasefire groups, including UWSA and KIO, to release statements criticizing the statement.

Several pro-junta groups, such as Union Pa-Oh National Organization, Pa-Oh National Organization, New Democratic Army-Kachin and some of the junta’s so-called “representatives of ethnicities” had obeyed the regime’s orders, claiming that Suu Kyi’s statement did not represent the ethnic groups.

However, UWSA and KIO, the two main players of 17 ethnic groups that have signed ceasefire agreements with the junta, paid no attention to the regime’s demands.

Meanwhile, the New Mon State Party also refused the order and released a statement on November 16 completely contradicting what junta had asked for. In the NMSP statement, the organization said it supported the “political dialogue” called for by Aung San Suu Kyi in her statement.

snip

irrawaddy.org


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ASEAN Summit:

Philippines Committed To Myanmar Democracy, Bilateral Agreements With China & New Zealand
Mike Cohen, Pacific News Center Correspondent 23.NOV.07

snip

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pledged to continue calling for democratic reforms in Myanmar and for the release of detained political leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Press Secretary and presidential spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said today at the close of the summit.

Bunye said the President's position is "in representation" of the Philippines' stand and will be pursued in various forums that she will be attending in the future.

snip

pacificnewscenter.com


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Arroyo might raise Myanmar issue in next China trip
By Tetch Torres
Last updated 07:07pm (Mla time) 11/22/2007

SINGAPORE (Via PLDT) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might raise the issue of Myanmar during her next visit to China, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said.

"The President acknowledges the fact that China is a very important player and China is in a position to influence the events in this part of the region," Bunye said Thursday.

snip

globalnation.inquirer.net


...................................



November 23, 2007 - Burma's women's leadership does not stop with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. A new publication profiles and draws attention to the detention and plight of some twenty other women who performed critical functions during the protests of August and September.

Accordingly, a group of rights activists is calling for 16 days of campaigning to bring attention to the plight of Burmese women activists in the country's ongoing struggle for human rights and democracy, from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day,

"For women of Burma who face and are under state-sanctioned violence this call cannot be more relevant than ever and the international community needs to have strong commitment and will to work harder towards protecting and securing women's human rights," reads a statement from the Asia-Pacific Peoples' Partnership for Burma (APPPB).

snip

mizzima.com



Courage to Resist:
A new report details how women activists have been hunted down, assaulted, tortured and framed with false charges, and their family members threatened and held hostage in the recent crackdown in Burma.

- English


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Than Shwe Finds Burma’s Fate in the Stars
By Wai Moe
November 23, 2007

Burmese junta leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s wife Kyaing Kyaing recently visited the celebrated Shit Myet Hna pagoda in her husband’s birthplace, Kyaukse, in central Burma, but she wasn’t just sightseeing or calling on friends and relatives.

The revered site is known as the “Eight Faces” pagoda because it faces eight points of the compass. Kyaing Kyaing is reported to have prayed symbolically there for support from all sides for her beleaguered husband and his despised regime.

snip

irrawaddy.org


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Burma activist wins exile fight
Friday, 23 November 2007,


Mr Naing said he now wanted to get a job and support his family

A Burmese dissident who faced deportation to his troubled homeland has won his battle to stay in Britain.

Lay Naing and his family fled Burma last year after being imprisoned and beaten for distributing literature critical of the military junta.

His asylum claim was thrown out and three appeals rejected. But the Prime Minister ordered a review of the case after being challenged in the Commons.

Mr Naing, who lives in Wakefield, West Yorks, has now been told he can stay. The 34-year-old, who works as a volunteer for the Refugee Council in Leeds, received a letter from Gordon Brown to say he would be given humanitarian protection status.

snip

news.bbc.co.uk


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Monk group calls for exam boycott


Nov 23, 2007 (DVB)–The Representative Monks Association has called on student monks not to participate in their annual examinations, in a statement issued yesterday.
The examinations are organised by the state, and would usually be taken by monks studying at lecturing monasteries.

The RPA represents leaders of the All-Burmese Monks Alliance who are currently in hiding.

The statement calls on monks, students and others not to forget about the monk-led demonstrations and government crackdown in September, and urges monks and civilians to continue with the movement and not give up.

The group also says it appreciates the work of United Nations special representatives Ibrahim Gambari and Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, and of detained democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and world leaders.

The statement was signed by the RPA director, who is among those monks in hiding from the authorities.

snip


Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no


...................................


Buddhist ceremony postponed in South Dagon

Nov 23, 2007

(DVB)–An annual ceremony in South Dagon township, Rangoon, has been postponed after organisers refused to pay money for troops to local authorities.

The Buddhist ceremony, which has been held around 22 to 26 November every year for the past 13 years, was to involve sermons from monks.

When the organising committee went to local temple authorities as usual to ask permission to hold the event, they were told they would have to pay 40,000 kyat towards troop mobilisations if they wanted to hold it at this time.

snip

Reporting by Aye Nai
english.dvb.no


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Norwegian NGO Stops Funding Burmese Student Army
By Shah Paung
November 23, 2007

A Norwegian non-governmental organization that works exclusively with Burma has stopped its financial support to a Burmese students’ armed group this week, according to a leading member of the exiled students group.

According to a letter dated November 21 from the Norwegian Burma Committee sent to the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, the NBC is “disappointed and very concerned” to learn that the ABSDF released a statement on October 4, 2007, in which it declared its decision to conduct active military action against the military regime in Burma.

snip

irrawaddy.org


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USDA Accused of Corruption in Water Project
By Wai Moe
November 23, 2007

The Union Solitary and Development Association is extorting local people while it manages a water supply and pipeline project in Dagon Myothit Township in the suburbs of Rangoon, according to sources.

Sources close to the USDA told The Irrawaddy on Friday that leading members of the USDA are involved in corruption. Secretary Soe Win and Joint-Secretary Than Oo of the UDSA in Dagon Myothit Township (North) were specifically mentioned and are currently being interrogated for corruption

snip

irrawaddy.org


...................................




khitpyaing.org

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Secretary-General reports ‘grave violations’ of children’s rights in Myanmar
Source: United Nations News Service
Date: 23 Nov 2007

Grave child rights violations, including recruitment into armed groups, continue in Myanmar, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, calling on the Government to take measures to address the problem which is common to both State and non-State actors.

“Although there has been progress in terms of dialogue with the Government of Myanmar and two non-State actors, the report notes that State and non-State actors continue to be implicated in grave child rights violations,” Mr. Ban writes in a summary of his report to the Security Council.

He notes progress in a number of areas, including the commitment by the Government that no child under the age of 18 will be recruited and the signing by two non-State actors – the Karen National Union and the Karenni National Progressive Party – of Deeds of Commitment to cease the recruitment and use of children.

The report documents “patterns of underage recruitment” by the Government, including those involving “poor and unaccompanied street children who are vulnerable to promises of food and shelter.” Other children picked up by the police for not having a national identification card are offered the “choice” of either being arrested or going into the army.

“Also of grave concern are the reliable reports of a number of incarcerated children/minors who have been convicted of desertion and sentenced to prison terms of up to five years,” Mr. Ban writes, noting that international practice and principles stipulate that children who have been unlawfully recruited or used by armed forces should not be treated as deserters.


snip

reliefweb.int

read full article Press Releases: Myanmar, Secretary-General reports ‘grave violations’ of children’s rights in Myanmar


....................................


Asean dances to junta's tune
Editorial
Bangkok Post
November 22, 2007

In its typical Asean way and for no good reason, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have decided it is much safer to save the ugly face of the ruling Burmese generals than to offend them in public. Thus, the myopic last-minute decision to cancel the scheduled briefings on Burma by United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

In defending the about-face, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Burma had emphasised that Mr Gambari, who has visited Burma four times, "should only report to the UN Security Council and not to Asean or the East Asia summit".

snip

Asean made a mistake in 1997 by admitting Burma into the group, hoping it would be able to effect a change in the attitude of the Burmese generals. Ten years later, the generals remain as stubborn as ever. Sadly, Asean has not only not learned its lesson but continues to make the same mistake with regard to Burma.

rebound88.net


..............................................


Asean's faulty megaphone diplomacy
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS
Bangkok Post
November 23, 2007

The notion of a regional approach to resolving Burma is dead

Twenty years ago in a wood-panelled conference room in Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then foreign minister Mochtar Kusumaatmadja threw out an odd idea in front of a group of foreign journalists. What if, he mused, we were to throw a cocktail party and invited all the warring Cambodian factions? At the time the issue of Kampuchea, as the United Nations referred to Cambodia, was the most vexing on Asean's agenda. No one could persuade the different political factions to reconcile and throw off the yoke of Vietnamese occupation.

For the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, then only six members, it was an awkward reminder of the Indochina wars and an obstacle to achieving the vision of regional integration and prosperity.

snip

Perhaps the officials who now conduct regional diplomacy should go back to their notes and records from 20 years ago and recall what first bloomed under a clear sky towards the end of July at the Bogor palace in 1988.

Times may change, but the basic principles of successful diplomacy, building trust and forging consensus through dialogue, are immutable.

The writer is regional director for Asia at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, based in Singapore.

rebound88.net


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Burma agrees to release 33 Thai prisoners
ACHARA ASHAYAGACHAT
Saturday November 24, 2007

Burma has agreed to release 33 Thai prisoners, including one woman and aging inmates, from Insein prison as a goodwill gesture to mark His Majesty the King's 80th birthday next month, according to the Supreme Command's department of border affairs. Nipat Thonglek, the head of the department, broke the news after returning from Rangoon yesterday. He said the Burmese government had agreed to a request by Supreme Commander Gen Boonsrang Niempradit to release the prisoners as a goodwill gesture on the occasion of the King's birthday on December 5.

snip

bangkokpost.com


..............................................


Myanmar reports fresh bird flu outbreak: report
Posted: 24 November 2007


YANGON: Military-ruled Myanmar has detected a new outbreak of bird flu among chickens in an eastern district near the Chinese border, official media said Saturday.

The outbreak was found at a farm in Kengtung township of eastern Shan state on November 18, after the farmer reported an unusual number of deaths in his chickens, the New Light of Myanmar said.

snip

channelnewsasia.com


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November 23, 2007 - Residents of Burma's former capital, Rangoon barely recovering from the trauma of the ruthless suppression of the people's uprising, having witnessed brutal beatings, shootings and killings, have to contend now with another depressing reality – prolonged power cuts.

The erratic supply of electricity has further worsened. Except very important areas such as the Bogyoke market, Tarmwe market, and a few other localities, residents in Rangoon said power black outs are the order of the day in most townships.

snip

mizzima.com


...................................


China urged not to sell armaments to Burma


November 23, 2007 - Pro-democracy activists from Burma and northeast India yesterday urged China not to provide military hardware to Burma. They also wanted China to mount pressure on the Burmese military junta to implement quick reforms to usher in democracy.

In a memorandum submitted to Chinese youth, currently in Aizawl, capital of Mizoram state, Burmese and Mizo democracy activists from Mizoram Committee for Democracy in Burma (MCDB) and Campaign for Democracy Movement in Burma (CDMB) also called on the government of China to stop selling armaments to the Burmese junta.

"We urged youth from China to join the international community to usher in democracy in Burma and also appealed to the Chinese government to push the Burmese regime to speed up democratic reforms in Burma," L. Changte, Deputy Director of CDMB said.

On November 21, 100 Chinese youth arrived in Aizawl as part of a friendly tour across states in India under a bilateral agreement between India and China .

snip

khonumthung.com


...............................................


Ethnic Kachins support Aung San Suu Kyi's statement
November 24, 2007
KNG

Ignoring the Burmese junta's wishes and in a bold step the Kachin National Organization (KNO), a political organization in exile has welcomed and supported Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's statement which was released by Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Burma on 8 November 2007.

In a statement released yesterday the Kachin National Organization (KNO) said "KNO believes that the recent statement made by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reflects her true resolve to solve the political problem in Burma. The statement clearly expressed the concern for solidarity and unity with the ethnic nationalities".

"The Burma issue is not only an issue of political and human right abuses in the country, it's also concerns the problems of ethnics. The Burmese military should cooperate with the ethnic people in Burma", said Mahkaw Hkun Sa, Deputy Director of KNO's Foreign Affairs.

Therefore, we (KNO) support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's statement towards having a ''Tripartite Dialogue'' between the ruling junta, opposition political parties and ethnic leaders, he added.

KNO a political organization was founded in 1999 in exile by overseas Kachins.

snip

kachinnews.com


...................................


Ethnic leaders rounded up

And Burmese students in Thailand are warned not to protest - or risk becoming stateless



Police in Burma are rounding up leaders of the country’s ethnic movements in a further breach of regime promises to the UN to halt all arrests, writes Edward Loxton for The First Post.

Several prominent representatives of ethnic groups were hauled in for questioning during the past few days. All but one were released after intensive interrogation about their loyalty to the regime.

One, Cin Siang Thang, an Arakanese member of the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament, was still in custody today, three days after being taken from his home.

The Committee Representing the People’s Parliament was formed after the 1990 election by candidates elected to seats they were never allowed to occupy. The military junta ignored the result of the election after its own candidates suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The interrogation this week of the ethnic leaders was roundly condemned by Suu Kyi’s party, whose spokesman, Nyan Win, said the action conflicted with the regime’s assurances that no more political prisoners would be taken. The assurances were given to UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari when he visited Burma on a peace mission after the September demonstrations.

The regime is in the meantime extending its witch-hunt to neighboring Thailand, where universities and colleges are being asked by Burma’s embassy in Bangkok to name their Burmese students.

At least one Burmese student on the embassy’s blacklist has been denied a renewal of his passport, making him stateless. Others are being told to sign declarations pledging not to take part in anti-regime activities in Thailand.

The regime is reportedly seeking out Burmese students who participated in a demonstration outside Burma’s embassy in Bangkok against the crackdown on Rangoon’s September uprising.

Sympathetic Thai staff at one university alerted Burmese students to the embassy inquiries and advised them to keep a low profile.

Hopes that Thailand’s prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, could persuade the Burmese regime to move towards an unconditional dialogue with the opposition have been dashed following his return from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Singapore.

Surayud had suggested tripartite talks on the Burma crisis between Asean, China and India, but he said Burma had rejected the idea in talks at the Asean meeting. Burma also blocked a Singapore-initiated invitation to Gambari to address the summit on his efforts to bring the two sides of the Burma conflict together.

“We’re back to square one,” said Burma commentator Myint Thein. “The question now is: where do we go from here?”

newsdeskspecial.co.uk


...................................



Arrests Continue on Western Border
11/24/2007

Bangladesh border security forces arrested five Burmese nationals on Monday at a border pass near pillar number 35, 60 miles north of Burma's western border town Maungdaw, said a Burmese official.

"They were arrested on the border while they were entering Bangladesh territory," reported a Burmese official from Taungbro, a sub-town located on the border. The arrestees are Thet tribal nationals from Bolibazar and Upper Taungbro Village in Maungdaw Township.

snip

narinjara.com



One-Time Solo Protestor Rearrested in Arakan
11/24/2007

A one-time solo protestor from the town of Buthidaung, 80 miles north of Arakan State capital Sittwe, was arrested for a second time by security forces on 19 November, 2007, nearly two months after he staged his protest, reports an NLD source.

"He was arrested by police forces from his house in Buthidaung on 19 November, and a day after he was taken to Rangoon by authorities," Said Rakhine State NLD Joint-Secretary U Tin Hlaing. Ko Ray Thein, alias Bu Maung, who staged a solo protest in Buthidaung on 2 September, has been accused by authorities of being mentally ill and was taken to Rangoon.

snip

narinjara.com

Narinjara News (NN) was founded by a group of Arakanese in exile in Bangladesh from Burma in 2001 seeking to voice for the people depriving of human and democratic rights and to pave the way for them who are struggling for those rights. The Narinjara News is an independent organization, not affiliated with any political party or organization. Any opinion or advice relating to our News Agency is warmly welcomed and please email to: narinjara@narinjara.com


...............................................


Myanmar mobilizes to protect 7 million children against polio
By Sandar Linn


UNICEF A child in Myanmar receives oral polio vaccine during the first of two rounds of National Immunization Days.

SHAN STATE, Myanmar, 23 November 2007 – Midwife Daw Kyin Nu is braving the cold rain in the hilly regions of Shan State, Myanmar, as she goes house to house to vaccinate children under the age of five against polio.

She has targeted 484 children amongst the eight villages she services for immunization, and she is determined not to miss a single child.

“Polio is one of the vaccine-preventable diseases, and it is important that health-care providers like me should not miss the chance to give children lifelong protection,” she says.

snip

Myanmar was polio-free for five years, until the beginning of 2007. Since then, 14 confirmed new cases have been reported, prompting officials here to take drastic actions to prevent any further transmission of the polio virus.

snip

unicef.org


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Myanmar PM Told Asian Leaders Protests No Threat: State Media AFP

YANGON (AFP)--Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein reassured Southeast Asian leaders at a summit last week that recent unrest in his country posed no threat to the region, official media said Saturday.

The military-ruled nation was rocked by pro-democracy protests in September, when Buddhist monks led 100,000 people in the streets of Yangon only to suffer a violent reprisal from security forces.

A U.N. rights investigator said that 15 people were killed during the crackdown, while Myanmar has said that about 3,000 people were arrested.

Thein Sein told the summit that the unrest would have no effect on other nations, according to the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

"World media exaggerated the news neglecting the actual facts, saying that the situation in Myanmar could harm international and regional peace and security," the government mouthpiece said, paraphrasing Thein Sein's remarks.

"The actual situations in Myanmar did not pose a threat to the international community, let alone regional countries' peace and security," the paper said.

Myanmar was expected to face tough criticism at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore last week, but instead secured a diplomatic victory by blocking a briefing by U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

The New Light of Myanmar indicated that the ruling junta was annoyed with Gambari for releasing a statement from detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi without first consulting the generals.

"Myanmar is closely dealing with both regional countries and global countries and is cooperating with the United Nations," the paper said.

"Mr Gambari, however, without any consultation or coordination in advance with the government of Myanmar, had released a statement of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," it added, using an honorific title for the Nobel peace prize winner.

In the statement released on Nov. 8, Aung San Suu Kyi said she was ready to engage the government in serious talks on national reconciliation.
The 62-year-old has been confined to her home for 12 of the last 18 years, despite international calls for her release.
Her National League for Democracy party won elections in 1990 with a landslide victory, but the junta has never recognized the result.

nasdaq.com


...................................


Burma protest: Robertson arrested climbing Eiffel Tower

On 12/11 the English climber Mike Robertson was arrested while climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris to raise public awareness about the current political situation in Burma and the responsibility of the French oil company Total.


Mike Robertson on the Eiffel Tower
Pete Lash UKC News



Mike Robertson on the crux of Eiffel Tower
Pete Lash UKC News

planetmountain.com

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Where Are The Monks?
By Lennox Samuels | NEWSWEEK
Dec 3, 2007 Issue

The junta has jailed some of Burma's Buddhist clergy, derobed others and driven many into exile.


Rare Sight: Fewer monks are out and about
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images


The 26-year-old monk was one of thousands who took to Burma's streets in late September. Like so many of them he had never imagined himself an activist—"I'm a normal monk, I'm not a political monk," he says—but he was carried away by the democratic fervor then sweeping Rangoon. On Sept. 25 he returned to his monastery late at night, climbing over the back wall since the front entrance was locked. The next night the soldiers came and took him away.

snip

newsweek.com


...................................


Curbs on migrant workers opposed
Sunday November 25, 2007

Deputy Prime Minister Sonthi Boonyaratkalin and the governors of five provinces have been condemned for alleged discrimination against migrant workers, who are forced to give up some daily activities for their right to work in the country.

From making a call on a mobile phone to driving cars and motorcycles, holding religious activities or giving birth to children, all are banned by officials for security reasons under a policy to control the number of alien workers, according to Sriprapha Petcharamesree, director of the Office of Human Rights Studies and Social Development at Mahidol University.

snip

bangkokpost.net


...................................


A trip to enigmatic Myanmar
Sunday, November 25, 2007


The fact that the Myanmar government decided to make Nay Pyi Taw the new administrative capital instead of Yangon in March 2006 was a big surprise for the entire world.


Yangon streets are full of old cars which are worth exorbitant prices


Since then Nay Pyi Taw has remained little-known.

Thanh Nien’s recent fact-finding visit to the two cities in Myanmar (once known as Burma) just scratched the surface, revealing many layers concealing the mysteries of this enigmatic country.


Episode 1: A visit to former capital of Yangon


Though Yangon is no longer the capital, the city is still the main city of Myanmar.

But arriving at the Yangon International Airport, 15 km from the city center, I was skeptical that this airport had been ranked as one of the best in the South East Asia a few decades ago.

Political turmoil has thinned out foreign tourists and decimated business for the airport.

The desolate scene extended to the Yangon-based hotels, restaurants, and tourism areas regardless of Myanmar’s hospitality and beauty.

On the first night at Yangon, I went with some local friends around the bars, restaurants and even to the bustling slums.

There were the bars crammed with people playing English songs and China-town with all-night drinking sessions.

There were also slums housing impoverished people.

The Yangon night was alive with a frenetic pace and exotic beauty.

After investigating several shop-ping centers the next morning, I learned that Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and credit cards did not exist in this country.

Another major cash inconvenience is the Myanmarese currency.

The local currency is Kyat.

About 1,300 Kyat only buys US$1 but the highest denomination is the 1,000 Kyat note, so you need to carry large bundles of notes in your pockets.

A local said there used to be ATMs and credit cards, but economic difficulties had put an end to them.

But what impressed me more was the plague of unauthorized taxis in the city.

Unauthorized taxis and other extraordinary vehicles

Bargaining is the common practice for taxis as there are no meters, not even air-conditioners.

All the taxis were so old, no one even knew what make they were anymore.

Ingenious mechanics had left no stone unturned to keep the decrepit jalopies going.

But there are even more odd stories about vehicles in Yangon - motor-bikes are prohibited.

Asked by Thanh Nien about the rationale for the ban, Naing Soe, a young businessman, said he had no idea about this.

“The government can adopt any policy without explanation. Citizens must abide by them,” he said.

Naing Soe also said the motorcycle bans weren't effective in other cities like Mandalay or Sittwe, but he had no explanation for the inconsistency.

Most people traveled by bus or other heavy vehicles, including the truck-converted buses.

All of them were dilapidated and constantly being repaired.

They were all crammed with passengers.

I witnessed so many coaches like this plodding along through Yangon's stifling heat, it reminded me of the dilapidated coaches in Vietnam 20 years ago.

Economics is a big reason Myanmar citizens favor old cars.

But the most significant reason is thegovernment does not encourage the use of cars, Internet, and mobile phones among its people.

World-record prices for those commodities are the result of those restrictions and the prices defy common sense.

Car prices in this country top the world.


Exorbitant cars


I was staggered to discover that an old Camry fetched US$60,000 in Myanmar and no new cars were sold in Yangon.

Examining the Camry 2.2 owned by Naing Soe, I couldn't find anything special to make the price so high.

I told Nain, I could buy a new Camry in Vietnam with that money.

Then I was astonished to hear that a new Land Cruiser could fetch US$300,000 but it would not be easy to buy due to government restrictions.

The car restrictions have given rise to a thriving black market.

The markets can be found in parking lots or factories.

Worn-out cabs, which might have been “extinct” in Vietnam, fetched up to US$20,000 each.

But one night having coffee with friends I was amazed to see a lavish BMW M3 and a Mercedes-Benz S-Class approaching.

I guessed the two cars could fetch at least US$1 million, but my Myanmarese friend said the S-Class, which had a black windshield, would cost not even a penny.

In Myanmar, he explained, cars arenot allowed to use the black windscreens, except for wealthy business people and officials.

“Whenever you see across a black-windshield car, watch out,” a Myanmarese warned me.

But car prices were not the only odd things in this country.

The thirst for fuel, which prompted mass protests and dissident crackdowns in Myanmar last August, was also hard to believe.


Fuel thirst


As the fuel demand continued to worsen in Myanmar, the government discouraged fuel buyers.

Since mid-year, the government hiked fuel prices 200% impacting all citizens, including both bikers and bus users.

The government controls the entire fuel system and adopted a quota system of 27 liters of fuel or diesel every three days.

But black-markets have their way around the law.

Following Naing Soe to the fuel black market, I witnessed a clandestine fuel exchange between Naing and a dealer at the Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon.

Naing said the fuel at the black market was sold by owners, who do not use their cars regularly, for twice “normal prices”.

But hefty prices and fuel rackets in Yangon are not the end to this extra-ordinary story about Myanmar.

The broadening rich-poor gap is the next episode in the story before visiting the new capital Nay Pyi Taw.

(To be continued)
Reported by Do Hung
thanhniennews.com


.................................................. .........


Prayers at the Shwedagon pagoda on Saturaday.





Today is the full moon day of Tazaungmon.
Photo: Mizzima.


.................................................. .........


Myanmar rebel group denies child soldier claims
(AFP)
25 November 2007


BANGKOK - An ethnic rebel group waging a decades-long uprising against Myanmar’s military regime on Sunday denied a United Nations report saying it recruited child soldiers.

The Karen National Union (KNU), which has battled the government for 57 years in one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies, said it had banned the presence of children under 18 in its ranks in 2003.

“Some parts of the (UN Secretary General’s) current report, based on data collected in 2005, is no longer relevant,” a KNU statement said.

“Accordingly, the KNU and KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) are no longer involved in the use of child soldiers and violations of child rights.”

In a statement released Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that both the military government and rebel groups continued to violate children’s rights by recruiting underage soldiers.

Citing a recent UN report, he said that the government was picking up street children or those without national identity cards and offering them the choice of arrest or joining the army.

snip

khaleejtimes.com

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'Several thousand' may be dead
October 01, 2007

Bodies dumped in jungle, says deserting officer

'The revolt is over,' says Swedish diplomat

An unconfirmed report by the Daily Mail claims that several thousand people have died in Burma in recent days and that the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle.

The claim is made by Hla Win, described as a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta.

"Many more people have been killed in recent days than you've heard about," Hla Win said. "The bodies can be counted in several thousand."

Hla Win, interviewed at the border with Thailand, said he decided to desert his post after refusing to obey an order to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks. "They were to be killed and their bodies dumped inside the jungle.

I refused to participate."

According to the Norway Post, Hla Win is seeking political asylum in Norway.

Meanwhile, Liselotte Agerlid, a Swedish diplomat just returned from a visit to Burma, told journalists in Thailand: "The Burma revolt is over. People are scared and the general assessment is that the fight is over.

We were informed... that 40 monks in the Insein prison were beaten to death today and subsequently burned."

newsdeskspecial.co.uk
I've been wondering for a while why we hadn't heard more from this guy , and asked around to-day,

this is what turned up .............


October 01, 2007

Hla Win, interviewed at the border with Thailand, said he decided to desert his post after refusing to obey an order to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks. "They were to be killed and their bodies dumped inside the jungle.

( cite , original post quoted above )


Tuesday October 02 2007

Burmese general sacked 'for being too moderate'

According to the Mizzima website, run by Burmese exiles, Major General Hla Htay Win was "allowed to retire,'' allegedly for being too moderate in crushing the protests.

independent.ie


Wednesday, 3 October 2007


General Hla Htay Win & family have been put under house arrest

Admin: Yangon's Brigadier General Hla Htay Win & family have been put under house arrest and all of their properties have been confiscated.

niknayman.blogspot.com

Yangon, 4 Nov




Yangon, 4 Nov - The monsoon paddy harvesting and cultivation of summer paddy was held at the farm of U Thaung Win at Barlar village in Hlegu Township today attended by Chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council Commander of Yangon Command Maj-Gen Hla Htay Win.

myanmar.com

November 8, 2007

Top military leader shelves two disobedient commanders

In disagreement with the violence used against Buddhist monks during the mass demontstrations, Captain Hla Win from Battalion 99 fled to the border.

mizzima.com


15-Nov-2007

The moral disintegration of Burma's military

During the peak of the street curfews in October rumours circulated that Brigadier General Hla Htay Win, a confidante of General Maung Aye and Commander in Chief for Rangoon Division, refused to give orders for troops to crack down on monks.

He and his family were reportedly placed under house arrest shortly thereafter, while Lieut-General Myint Swe from the Bureau of Special Operations, believed to be loyal to Than Shwe, was appointed to coordinate Rangoon crackdown efforts.

eurekastreet.com.au


...............................................


"Stop Violence Against Women"
November 25, 2007


Photo: Mizzima

Marking the world-wide day of "Stop Violence Against Women", Burmese women held protest rally in Bangladeshi's capital of Dhaka.

Protestors call for the immediate stop of state sponsor violence against women in Burma and the release of all political prisoners including pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 12 of the past 18 years.

mizzima.com


...............................................



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Sold to Be Soldiers

The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma

By the time he was 16, Maung Zaw Oo had been forcibly recruited into Burma’s national army not once, but twice. First recruited at age 14 in 2004, he escaped, only to be recruited again the following year. He learned that the corporal who recruited him had received 20,000 kyat,1 a sack of rice, and a big tin of cooking oil in exchange for the new recruit. “The corporal sold me,” he said. The battalion that “bought” him then delivered him to a recruitment center for an even higher sum—50,000 kyat.

snip

hrw.org


..............................................


Burma army 'recruiting children'
Wednesday, 31 October 2007


The report says brokers are paid for providing recruits


The Burmese army is forcibly recruiting children to cover gaps left by a lack of adult recruits, says a report by a US-based human rights organisation.


Human Rights Watch (HRW) says children as young as 10 are beaten or threatened with arrest to make them enlist.

Burma has previously said it is working towards preventing the recruitment of children by the military.

HRW has urged the UN Security Council to do more to punish Burma over its alleged use of child soldiers.

snip

news.bbc.co.uk


Junta continues to recruit children into army: Rights defender
Thursday, 18 June

New Delhi (mizzima news) - Despite the Burmese junta’s claim of eliminating the use of children in the military, a human rights advocate said children in Burma are still recruited into the army and that he is currently advocating for the return of three children from the armed forces.

Aye Myint, a lawyer in Pegu town, who has helped in the return of several children from the army, said he is handling three cases of children being recruited in the army in recent weeks. He is now working for their return at the behest of their parents.

“I have just submitted a letter of complaint to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the return of three children from the army,” Aye Myint told Mizzima on Wednesday.

But since publicising the details of the cases could come in the way of the ILO and his efforts to negotiate with the Burmese authorities in helping the children return, he refused to provide details of the cases of the three children.

In a summary of the cases, Aye Myint said, it includes a boy of age 16 from Myingyan town of Mandalay division. The boy was reportedly working at a restaurant in Pegu town and was persuaded by an Army officer from Brigade 77 to join the army and was later taken away by the officer.

“No matter how the child is recruited, whether by persuasion, coercion, or threat, if a child under the age of 18 is recruited into the army, it is a violation. The army has the responsibility to return the kid because the kid is supposed to be in the classroom not carrying out military duties,” Aye Myint said.

Aye Myint, who by profession is a lawyer, has started fighting against the use of children in the military since 2006. And since March 2006, he said, with the help of the ILO, he was able to help 25 children return from the army.

On June 3, the junta claimed that it is taking steps in preventing and eliminating the use of children in the army by sending back eight minors to their parents from the military.

But Aye Myint as well as other human rights activists said the return was just a sham while the army continues recruiting children into the army.

Burma is a signatory to the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Child (CRC). While the convention prohibits children of age 15 and below from recruiting into the army, the Burmese military law specifies that children below 18 cannot be recruited into the army.

But against these laws, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s 2007 report states that children in Burma are still being used as soldiers not only the Burmese Army but also by non-state armed forces, referring to ethnic armed rebel groups.

The report, which was submitted to the UN Security Council, listed nine armed groups from Burma including the Burmese Army among the 54 armed groups around the world that continues to use children in their armies.

mizzima.com

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Photographer killed in Burma protests
September 27, 2007 - 9:08PM


A man lies injured after police and military officials fired upon and then charged at a crowd of thousands protesting in Yangon's city centre.
Photo: Reuters

Soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of anti-government demonstrators today as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Burma's main city braved a crackdown that has drawn international appeals for restraint by the ruling military junta.
Witnesses told The Associated Press that after soldiers fired into a crowd near a bridge across the Pazundaung River on the east side of downtown Rangoon, five men were arrested and severely beaten by soldiers.
Thousands of protesters ran through the streets after the shots rang out. Bloody sandals were left lying the road.

snip

theage.com.au


Photos released of murdered Japanese journalist
Francis Wade

Warning: this article contains graphic images



Oct 27, 2009 (DVB)–Images of the post-mortem examination on the body of a Japanese journalist shot dead by Burmese police during the September 2007 protests have been released for the first time.

Accompanied by the images obtained by DVB of the body of Kenji Nagai, who worked for Tokyo’s APF news agency, are photographs of the possessions he carried when he died.

Separate footage captured by DVB reporters filming the demonstrations appears to show Nagai carrying a camera that has not been included in the exhibit of his possessions.


A letter sent in November 2007 by Japanese activists to Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) protesting the shooting had demanded that the camera and videotape be returned to Nagai’s family “without any modifications to the recorded material”.

The family has since received all of his belongings apart from the camera and videotape.

Subsequent footage released on Japanese television showed a government soldier taking the camera.

A wristwatch that Nagai was wearing when he died is also missing from the exhibit photograph.


Nagai was killed by a single bullet-wound to the chest as he filmed monks and civilians protesting on the streets of Rangoon, in what has now come to be known as the Saffron Revolution.



The Japanese prime minister at the time described the killing as “extremely unfortunate”, while the government’s chief cabinet secretary demanded an investigation into the incident.


Relations between the two countries temporarily soured after the shooting, with Japan halting aid to Burma.

This was resumed however following cyclone Nargis in May 2008.


Nagai was the only foreigner to have been killed during protests which lasted for eight days before the government launched a brutal crackdown, killing scores of monks and students in the process.

Up to 50,000 people are thought to have been involved in the demonstrations which erupted after the government hiked up fuel prices overnight, in some cases to five times their original price.

Since his death, an award has been created in Nagai’s name to honour reporters documenting human rights abuses in Burma.

The first recipient of the award was Eint Khaing Oo, a female journalist who was imprisoned after reporting on cyclone Nargis.

She has since been released.


The Times quoted an associate of Nagai’s who said the 50-year-old was “relentless” in his pursuit of stories. He had previously documented conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and Palestine.



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17,034
Gambari Transferred to Darfur
LALIT K JHA
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WASHINGTON D.C.—With the role of his Good Offices reduced to a minimum in the aftermath of a US policy shift on Burma, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has decided to move his point man on Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, to Darfur.

UN Special Envoy on Burma Gambari had been keeping a low profile for the last few months; in particular after the Obama administration announced its new Burma policy which included engagement with the military junta.


UN Special Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari speaks to the Japanese foreign minister in Tokyo during a visit in February 2009.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Since September, the US government has had two rounds of talks with the junta, the result of which being that Gambari's role has more or less faded into the background.

“The secretary-general has informed the Security Council of his intention, following consultations with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to appoint Mr Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria as Joint Special Representative of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), with effect from January 1, 2010,” the UN deputy spokesperson, Marie Okabe, told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

Gambari succeeds Congolese Rodolphe Adada. “Gambari has had a long and distinguished career with the United Nations, having served, most recently, as the secretary-general’s special adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and other political issues. He has also served the secretary-general in pursuing the good offices mandate on Myanmar [Burma], as you know,” Okabe said.

Now that Gambari is being moved from his Burma position, Okabe said that Ban will be looking for a replacement. “In the meantime, the good offices mandate is still with the secretary-general and will be continued,” she said in response to a question.

Gambari, who made several trips to Burma in his capacity as the UN special envoy for the country, was not able to make any headway and convince the Burmese military junta to take steps toward the restoration of democracy in the country and protection of human rights.

He was frequently denied meetings with senior Burmese generals, including dictator Snr-Gen Than Shwe, and on one trip even Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi refused to meet him. However, people close to Gambari said he was handicapped by the non-constructive role played by several of the key players in the region and his mandate itself, which did not gave him enough leverage to negotiate with the Burmese leadership.

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Eight charged for Sept 2007 activities
Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

Jan 21, 2010 (DVB)–Eight activists have been charged for their role in the September 2007 uprising, more than two years after police in Burma launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.

The eight men, who include four monk and a school teacher, were arrested last year during a crackdown that coincided with the two-year anniversary of the so-called Saffron Revolution.

Lawyer Kyaw Ho, who is representing two of the men, Thandar Htun and Ko Nyo, said that all eight were charged under the Unlawful Associations Act and the Immigration Act, which together carry a maximum seven-year sentence.


The other defendants are Ye Myint, U Yaywata, U Kawthita, U Withudi, U Waryama and Kyaw Khin.


“They were…[accused] of having contacts with the All Burma Monks Association and the Generation Wave [activist groups], and also charged under the Immigration Act for illegally crossing border to meet with those groups,” said Kyaw Ho.

He added there was “no legitimacy” in making his clients, who were arrested in their hometown of Mandalay, stand trial in Rangoon.

Five of the men reportedly do not have lawyer assistance, while Kyaw Ho said that relatives of the eight had been barred from visiting them since their arrest.


The Burmese government in September last year launched a crackdown on people suspected of involvement in fomenting the 2007 uprising, in which thousands of civilians, led by monks, took to the streets of Burma initially to protest against a hike in fuel prices.


The demonstrations quickly became a show of force against the military regime, which responded by firing into crowds and killings hundreds.


Burma’s revered monk community was targeted in the crackdown.

According to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP), more than 250 monks are currently held in Burmese prisons.


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Old 02-02-2010, 03:45 PM   #1524 (permalink)
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The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma



Map of Burma

Terminology and Abbreviations


I. Summary


The Government of Burma’s Armed Forces: The Tatmadaw

Government Failure to Address Child Recruitment

Non-state Armed Groups

The Local and International Response



II. Recommendations



III. Methodology



IV. Background



V. The Tatmadaw: The State Military


The Tatmadaw’s Staffing Crisis

Recruitment

The Su Saun Yay Recruit Holding Camps

Training

Deployment and Active Duty

Desertion, Imprisonment, and Re-recruitment

The Future of Tatmadaw Child Recruitment

The Government of Burma’s Response to the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers


VI. Child Soldiers in Non-State Armed Groups

United Wa State Army

Karenni Army

Karen National Liberation Army

Shan State Army – South

Kachin Independence Army

Democratic Karen Buddhist Army

Kachin Defense Army

Mon National Liberation Army

Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front

Shan Nationalities People’s Liberation Army

Rebellion Resistance Force

KNU-KNLA Peace Council


VII. The International Response

The United Nations Security Council

United Nations Country Team

UNICEF

ILO

Neighboring country and cross-border initiatives


VIII. Legal Standards

Child Recruitment as a War Crime

International Standards on Demobilization, Reintegration, and Rehabilitation

Acknowledgements

Appendix A: SPDC Plan of Action regarding child soldiers
(pdf file - 4 pages, 949 kb)

Appendix B: Human Rights Watch letter to the UN Mission of Myanmar, August 22, 2007
(pdf file - 2 pages, 104 kb)

Appendix C: Reply from the UN Mission of Myanmar, September 12, 2007
(pdf file - 3 pages, 90 kb)

Appendix D: KNPP Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers
(pdf file - 4 pages, 252 kb)

Appendix E: KNLA Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers
(pdf file - 2 pages, 96 kb)

Volume 19, No. 15© October 2007
hrw.org


Burma army frees boy after mother pleads through media

Monday, 1 February 2010

The army in Burma has released a 14-year-old boy it had forcibly recruited, after his mother appealed for his return on international media.


Sandar Win, who has terminal cancer, told the BBC's Burmese Service and Radio Free Asia (RFA) her pleas for his return had previously been ignored.

But following her emotional media interviews two weeks ago, the army brought her son back to her house.

Correspondents say forced recruitment of children is common in Burma.

Ms Win told the BBC the boy had been lured away from her while she was working on her market stall by a soldier who offered him alcohol.

She found he was being held at an army base along with other child recruits but said that when she went to plead for his release, she was turned away and hit by the soldiers.

In interviews with the BBC and RFA, Ms Win said that when she was allowed to see her son, he had been in tears and asked to go home but she was not allowed to take him.

Two weeks after the interviews, the military authorities came to her house to bring the boy home.

"I asked the authorities to return my son when I spoke to RFA and BBC," said Ms Win.

"I am very happy to have my son back and I don't know how to thank RFA and BBC for your help."

Tin Htar Swe, head of the BBC's Burmese Service, says children are regularly kidnapped by the army or given alcohol to make them enlist.

She said the boy's release was probably an attempt by the army to limit the damage from the case, which had attracted a lot of public attention and threatened to damage the army's reputation.

The Coalition to Stop Child Soldiers says Burma has thousands of children in its armed forces, some as young as 11 years old.

news.bbc.co.uk
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