Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for September 2008

World focus on Burma (30 September 2008)

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‘A possible US recession will certainly have impact on the Chinese …

Manila Times, Philippines -

Host Fareed Zakaria: But surely, the Chinese government could pressure the Sudanese government, or the Iranian government, or the government in Burma to …

Interview: U Win Tin calls for unity

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -

DVB asked U Win Tin for his interpretation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to meet United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari during his visit to Burma …

Veteran Burmese Politician Thakin Thein Pe hospitalized

Mizzima.com, India -

He is currently serving as an advisor for initiating a tripartite dialogue between the military regime, the opposition party ‘National League for Democracy’ …

The Future Shape of US-ASEAN Relations

World Politics Review -

… are managed with sensitivity to sovereignty but without undermining democracy as an enduring tenet of US foreign policy. In this regard, Burma will …

Burma: Amnesty appalled as Junta re-arrest U Win Htein

Amnesty International UK, UK -

Amnesty International today condemned the Burmese authorities decision to re-arrest U Win Htein just days after his release. The 66-year-old is a senior …

Junta issues warning on tainted milk

Mizzima.com, India -

A report in the Burmese language newspaper Myanmar Ahlin, an official government mouth-piece, on Tuesday said with Chinese milk and milk products found to …

Sittwe monks demand release of detained monk

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -

U Yekkhaputta urged the Burmese people to join together to challenge the regime. “You are your own salvation. Don’t depend on any foreign country or the UN, …

Burma slams ‘unfair and immoral’ sanctions

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -

Sep 30, 2008 (DVB)–Burmese foreign minister U Nyan Win told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday that Burma could enhance regional energy and food …

The Battle For Greenland’s Rubies

Luxist, CA -

With rubies from Myanmar/Burma being banned by many Western countries, the hunt has been on for rubies that come from a less politically sensitive area. …

China’s Deadly Investments

Huffington Post, NY -

And when Burma cracked down on the peaceful protests of the Saffron Revolution, China steadfastly supported the junta, shipping artillery cannons and …

Junta claims international law on its side, condemns sanctions

Mizzima.com, India -

The tirade, on the session’s last day of debate, linked the prospects of a more economically integrated Burma to the betterment of both the region’s and …

Burma’s State Media Still Mum on Tainted Milk Powder

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

She told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the semi-official Myanmar Times weekly newspaper earlier published a story that said all imported dairy products from …

TI Corruption Index is No Different Either

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

Myanmar [Burma] was ranked second worst after Somalia. The first questionable aspect about the CPI is the nature of the study itself. As the name indicates, …

Remove ‘Unjust’ Economic Sanctions: Junta

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

“Myanmar [Burma] has abundant land and natural resources to be able to make a meaningful contribution to energy and food security of our country and beyond. …

Karen Group Opposes Salween River Dams

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

He said human rights abuses such as forced labor, forced relocation, the disappearance of culture heritage as well as environmental damage including …

Myanmar on the cyber-offensive

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong -

Several opposition media sources, including The Irrawaddy magazine and Democratic Voice of Burma satellite television station, have said they received …

Chinese investments in Myanmar’s energy, mining sectors of concern

Monsters and Critics.com -

The ERI report, aptly titled China in Burma: The Increasing Involvement of Chinese Multinational Corporations in Burma’s Hydropower, Oil and Natural Gas, …

Screening commemorates Burma protests

The Brown Daily Herald, RI -

… of the national US Campaign for Burma, which works to end the military dictatorship in Burma, now known as Myanmar under the current military junta. …

Toyota Driving Automakers’ Global Race to the Bottom

AlterNet, CA -

Around the world, the company has been complicit in union busting in the Philippines, and engages in cozy relationships with Burma/Myanmar’s military ..

Burmese opposition MP dies

Mizzima.com, India -

A medical graduate from the Mandalay Medical Institute, Dr. Myo Win, was arrested and jailed for three years for becoming involved in the peoples’ democracy …

General Maung Aye Scheduled to Arrive in Bangladesh on 7 October

Narinjara News, Bangladesh -

The Burmese military government’s second most powerful leader, Senior General Maung Aye, will arrive in Bangladesh on 7 October for a three-day official …

Winds of change fail to stir Myanmar

New Straits Times, Malaysia -

LAST September, peaceful demonstrations let the world know that the people of Myanmar had enough of the crushing oppression of the military junta, yet, …

Myanmar urges end to sanctions

Aljazeera.net, Qatar -

Myanmar’s foreign minister has called for an end to what he called “immoral” sanctions against his country, saying they were harming Myanmar and its people. …

… according to the government-affiliated weekly Myanmar Times. China is Burma’s biggest trading partner. More than a dozen Asian and African countries, …

Myanmar Says `Immoral’ Sanctions Reduce Food, Energy Production
Bloomberg -
The US and opposition groups denounced the charter, which bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from holding office, saying it aims to prolong military …

India: India Likely To Sign FTA With Asean In Dec
Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia -
… which groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, would hold its summit in mid-November. The seven-country forum, …

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 — Two months after Inner City Press exposed 20% losses in Myanmar currency exchanges by the UN, and a month after the UN …

… a series of demonstrations outside Burmese embassies and high profile public locations calling for the Myanmar authorities not to respond with violence, …

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 — Asked about 19 days of silence about Myanmar by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his senior advisor Nicholas Haysum on

Non-Violent Peace Brigades: How Fast Can We Move?
Toward Freedom, VT -

The PBI activity became centered on individual protective accompaniment of local human rights activists living under threat of abduction or assassination in …

Oh yeah, Sudan… wasn’t there something happening there?
Feministe -
I suppose we can only handle one major humanitarian crisis at a time,*** and this week it’s monks in Burma. But 10 peacekeepers in Darfur were just killed, …

Media briefs: Mathew White to head up TT… Dalek more popular …
Crikey (subscription), Australia -
A year ago, the Burmese people, supported by thousands of Buddhist monks, took to the streets to denounce the junta’s excesses. On 26 September 2007, …

UN chief comments Thai-Cambodian conflict
Nation Multimedia, Thailand -
Thailand-Cambodia border conflict was among the issues including the Burma’s rehabilitation after Cyclone Nargis discussed between the Asean ministers and …

Head to head: renowned leftwingers thrust into a contest for the …
guardian.co.uk, UK -
The chances of their paths ever crossing were minimal, but now Ryan Giggs and Dr Aung San Suu Kyi are inadvertently squaring up for the highest honour …

Transcript of interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
CNN -
Zakaria: May I ask you — some Americans and Europeans, particularly human rights observers, say that China has cracked down on human rights over the last …

Development: Human trafficking —Syed Mohammad Ali
Daily Times, Pakistan -
Our current federal minister for law, justice and human rights has termed unemployment and lack of implementation of anti-trafficking laws as the major …

Myanmar urges end to sanctions
TVNZ, New Zealand -
The UN Security Council has urged Myanmar to release all political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in prison or …

Head to head: renowned leftwingers thrust into a contest for the …
guardian.co.uk, UK -
The chances of their paths ever crossing were minimal, but now Ryan Giggs and Dr Aung San Suu Kyi are inadvertently squaring up for the highest honour …

UN Assembly: Myanmar denies pleas for progress
Toronto Star,  Canada -
AP UNITED NATIONS–Myanmar’s military regime dismissed calls from countries concerned with its repression of political opponents today, saying that its …

This group of refugees from Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, was forced to leave their country because of war and/or persecution. …

Jade trade in Myanmar thrives on exploitation, rights abuses
The National, United Arab Emirates -
Matthew Smith, project co-coordinator at ERI, said Beijing’s growing presence in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, played a key role in the continuation of …

Ireland will help UN with challenges – Martin
Irish Times, Ireland -
Mr Martin also renewed his call for the immediate release of Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and for continued international pressure on the …

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Myanmar’s foreign minister Foreign Minister Nyan Win on Monday called for the lifting of what he called “unwarranted” and …

29 September 2008 – Myanmar could become the rice bowl of its region and provide energy to other countries if “immoral” sanctions against it were lifted, …

US Burmese Rubies, Jadeite Regulations Now Apply
Diamonds.net, NY -
Burma is also known as Myanmar. US Customs and Border Protection have issued new Harmonized Tariff System codes for all non-Burmese rubies and jadeite …

World focus on Burma (29 September 2008)

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Blood Diamonds: The Gem’s Curse
Voice of America -

Human rights activists are working to tighten sanctions against Burmese rubies. But, like with diamonds, the potential profits are large and many are …

Myanmar pledges reform, free and fair general elections in 2010
Earthtimes (press release), UK -
New York – Myanmar put on a good face on Monday before the UN General Assembly, promising far-reaching democratic reforms and use of its rich natural …

EDITORIAL: New Hopes for Democracy in Burma?
istockAnalyst.com (press release), OR -
… first meeting Saturday to advance democratic reforms in Burma. That country, now officially known as Myanmar, has been ruled by the military since 1962. …

Myanmar Urges End to “Unfair and Immoral” Sanctions
ABC News -
Human rights groups say as many as 700 people remain behind bars, although the junta says all but a few dozen have been released.

Myanmar urges end to “unfair and immoral” sanctions
Reuters -

On Saturday, a UN group on Myanmar vowed to keep the world spotlight on the troubled country and to press the military rulers of the former Burma to comply …

Myanmar Urges End to ´Unfair And Immoral´ Sanction
Javno.hr, Croatia -

The UN Security Council has urged Myanmar to release all political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar could be the rice …

Ryan Giggs: Wallpaper

The Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated by the Salford City Unison for her relentless fight for freedom and democracy in Burma.

Comics Panel: September 29, 2008
A.V. Club -
… in The Burma Chronicles (D&Q). Delisle accompanied his wife—a Doctors Without Borders administrator—on her 14-month posting in The Union Of Myanmar, …

Vancouver Radar: Mission of Burma, Still On a Mission
Martiniboys.com, Canada -

By Richard Trapunski in Attractions Burma (aka Myanmar) has had a rough run as of late; it needs a little mad guitar-heavy post-punk (though, …

NLD youth members pay respects to U Win Tin
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Thirty National League for Democracy members from Lower Burma went to pay their respects to newly-released political prisoners U Win Tin and Kyauktan …

Junta releases three NLD youth members
Mizzima.com, India -
The junta blames student activists and dissident groups based along the Thai-Burmese border for the act. But on the day following the blast an armed student …

Five simple questions about a not so simple election
National Union of Public and General Employees, Canada -
… regard to objective is all we value, then Joseph Stalin would qualify as a strong leader, as would the leaders of the brutal military regime in Burma. …

EU-India Joint Press Communique
Press Information Bureau (press release), India -
They discussed the situation in Burma/Myanmar, agreed on the need to strengthen efforts towards national reconciliation and reaffirmed the need for an …

Ban Ki-moon seen struggling in UN role
United Press International -

… Britain, Singapore and other countries are also displeased by Ban’s refusal to travel to Myanmar, the former Burma, and meet military ruler Gen. …

Three NLD members released after anniversary arrests
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 29, 2008 (DVB)–Three of the nine people arrested at the National League for Democracy’s 20th anniversary ceremony on Saturday have now been released, …

‘Group of Friends’ fails to resolve internal differences
Mizzima.com, India -
… in Myanmar to seize the opportunity of the UN good offices,” in the words of Ban Ki-moon, “while stressing the responsibility of the Myanmar [Burma] …

Three more political prisoners released
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 29, 2008 (DVB)–Three more political prisoners have been released by the Burmese military regime, bringing the total number of political detainees freed …

Junta Amends Historical Commission Law
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
By MIN LWIN Burma’s military government has amended the Myanmar [Burmese] Historical Commission Law, transferring authority for historical research from the …

Package Tour Available to Irrawaddy Delta in October
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Tourist companies in Burma say they are starting ad campaigns to draw more tourists to as the peak tourist season runs from October to February. …

Opposition Must Cooperate: Win Tin
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Burmese residents in Japan hold a giant flag as they stage a rally on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of detained Aung San Suu Kyi’s …

Activist Han Lin dies in New York
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 29, 2008 (DVB)–U Han Lin, who led the “long march to freedom and democracy” campaign in 2005 to highlight the plight of Burma, died from lung cancer on …

State Violence in Thailand and Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Members of the panel agreed that Thai military leaders are more business-minded than their counterparts in Burma. According to Jagan, the Burmese regime …

Asian (con)Fusion: In and out of jail in Burma
Independent, UK -
… adviser to the imprisoned democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was rearrested just one day after being released. The Washington-based US Camaign for Burma …

China’s Grip on Burma ‘Cause for Concern’
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
“CNPC has signed a MoU with MOGE [Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise] for a detailed assessment of the potential construction of a crude oil terminal off the …

Burma: Monks stage quiet protest as world powers call for Burma to …
UNPO, Netherlands -
The anniversary coincided with UN talks, which Mr Ban’s spokeswoman, Michele Montas, said underlined “the responsibility of the Myanmar (Burma) Government …

Library exhibit focuses on Myanmar
Ithaca Journal, NY -
The Cornell Southeast Asia Program and the library present, “Burma/Myanmar: Creativity, Diversity, and Everyday Life and Karen Textiles from Burma and the …

Myanmar: Aid still needed
Global Voices Online, MA -
… into the Tatmadaw, Burma’s armed forces. New Mandala interviewed an aid worker who provided us with a believable and concrete situation inside Myanmar. …

Increased Chinese Involvement Raises Concerns Over Potential Social and Environmental Impacts
Earthrights.org, DC -
The report, China in Burma (Myanmar): The Increasing Involvement of Chinese Multinational Corporations in Burma’s Hydropower, Oil and Natural Gas, ..

MYANMAR: THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT ARRESTED THREE NLD SUPPORTERS
Culturalnews.it, Italy -

While the junta holds absolute power in Burma, the international community still supports Suu Kyi as the most credible leader of the country. …

Indo-French civil N-pact may be inked during PM visit
A Pakistan News, Pakistan -
Regional issues of common interest, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Burma are also expected to figure in the discussions. …

Low-Profile UN Chief Struggles as Diplomatic Peacemaker
Washington Post, United States -

… Burma’s generals to democratize the country and to secure the release of nearly 2000 political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Nigeria Is A False Democracy– Human Rights Watch
LeadershipNigeria, Nigeria -
Nigeria’s democratic credentials were questioned once again yesterday by Human Rights Watch, which noted that autocrats posing as democrats are underming …

Pyongyang is true to form
Bangkok Post, Thailand -
So are reports Pyongyang may be helping Burma with its secretive nuclear ambitions. More diplomatic effort must be put into convincing its leaders to act in …

Elephant nation: Saving the big grays

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ANIMAL KINGDOM

Elephant nation: Saving the big grays

‘Asia hero’ says rescue work ‘makes my heart smile’


Posted: September 26, 2008
8:01 pm Eastern

By Anthony C. LoBaido
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Editor’s Note: This past summer, Anthony C. LoBaido spent nine weeks documenting and photographing the horrific plight of abused elephants in both Thailand and Sri Lanka.

“I can’t remember anything that happened before two weeks ago.” – Jason Bourne

“Lucky you.” – Marie Kruetz

– from “The Bourne Identity”

CHIANG MAI, Thailand – They say an elephant never forgets. But those majestic creatures who are the national symbol of Thailand may be forgiven for perhaps wishing they could forget the abuse, injury and death they’ve suffered in a society where their elephant birth certificates often amount to death sentences.

Their fate includes encounters with land mines that leave them with feet blown off, torture from hooks, spears and knives in the hands of humans, chain-saw attacks by ivory hunters, spine damage from trekking platforms and even drug abuse.

Yet as the morning mist rises over the lush river valley in this slice of heaven otherwise known as the “Elephant Nature Park,” a herd of formerly tortured and abused but surviving animals is making tracks to the Mae Tang River, its pristine waters flowing silently under a sky turned purple and orange by the rising sun.

They enter the water, one by one, males, aunties and babies alike. There’s Max, a giant 13-foot-tall elephant (said to be the second tallest elephant in all of Thailand) whose legs were broken by an 18-wheel truck during the homeless phase of his life. B.K. has only one tusk. After being drugged and chained to a tree, ivory poachers took a chainsaw to his right rusk; B.K. awakened and chased away the men before they could cut off the other tusk.

Jokari had both her eyes stabbed and shot out, because after giving birth to a baby the baby rolled down a hill and died, and Jokari refused to continue working.

One by one, the elephants enter the water, submerge, and soon reappear. They shake their ears emphatically and spray water from their long, sensitive trunks. “Doot-doo-da-doot!” they trumpet, seemingly in unison. It is an exhilarating scene.


Elephants swimming in the Mae Tang River at Lek Chailert’s Elephant Nature Park

Before long the “elis” are engaging in friendly trunk pulls and jumping in happy playfulness.

Standing on the shore of the river and taking in this wildly maverick, idyllic spectacle is the guardian angel of Thailand’s elephants. Her jet black hair falls over her slender shoulders as she smiles her electrifying smile by flashing bright white teeth.

Her name is “Lek,” which means “small” in the Thai language. At 5-feet, 2-inches, it would be easy to dismiss Lek Chailert, instead of recognizing her status as one of the most heroic people (man or woman) on planet Earth.

In fact, she’s a woman that Paul McCartney, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Meg Ryan all have sought out regarding her work with Thailand’s abused elephants. She’s been featured on CNN, Animal Planet, The Discovery Channel, Time Magazine (selected as one of “Asia’s Heroes”) as well as National Geographic. Yet since this remarkable Thai remains a kind and humble woman; she would never tell you any of those things outright.

But she shares with WND the story of how she came to be the savior of Thailand’s elephants. It is a fairy tale about a little girl who was given an elephant at age five that also includes the dark side of murder, abandonment, slander, a courtroom showdown and physical assaults with fists and guns.

The last chapter is yet to be written, but for now, it has culminated in her becoming the human voice for Thailand’s elephants.

The jungle girl

“It was long ago … I was just a little girl, about five years old, when my grandfather, who was a shaman in a small village in Northern Thailand, saved a man’s life. Because of this deed my grandfather was given an elephant which he in turn gave to me,” Chailert told WND.

“I named the elephant ‘Goldie.’ When I first met her I found this creature to be truly amazing. She looked so kind and so gentle. We become friends at our very first meeting. I loved my new elephant so much and rode her everywhere I went in the jungle. We used to play games with Goldie like ‘Climb the Mountain.’ Many of the children in our little village (nestled between Thailand and Burma) would climb up Goldie’s trunk, tail and ears. Another time we found a toy gun, and my brother and I would play ‘Army’ with Goldie. We’d pretend to shoot her. Then I would say ‘Goldie, we shot you but you are still standing up!’ So she would dutifully obey and lay down as if to say, ‘Oh look … I just died!’ Then she would get up again. This would go on and on, 50 times in a row or even more.”

Theories about elephants were jolted in 2002 when researchers documented that elephants emit subsonic trunk calls at 30 Hz which can travel up to 10 miles or more. Elephants also have another natural Internet via the sensitive nerve endings on their feet. By stamping on the ground they can send and pick up messages. This is probably why so many elephants headed for high ground right before the 2004 Asian tsunami. When elephants are sending out their subsonic trunk calls, if you look closely (or even touch) you can see a small section of their frontal brain area moving under their two-inch thick skin.


The gentle giant Max was homeless for a time and has recovered from being run over by an 18-wheel truck

“As I grew up I continued to become closer to Goldie. My mother told us there was gold (like gold bullion) inside of the elephant, and my brother actually tried to climb inside Goldie to find it. One day, he was halfway inside Goldie’s mouth when my mother ran outside and saw this – shouting ‘No!’” Chailert related.

“I was also becoming closer to many of the animals in the jungle. I would find injured animals and bring them home to care for them. I would often fight with my father about this … he was a hunter you see.

“That’s one thing I have to thank my family for … they gave me the chance to love and care to the other animals. When I was young my grandfather rescued many wild animals caught in traps. He would heal them. He would also let me to help him and taught me how to take care of those animals. He called me the ‘Little Doctor,’ and I was so proud with that title. I fell in love with all the animals I treated and made sure they were safe and eventually returned back to jungle. My mother also supported me in loving the animals by educating me and allowing me to have pets when I was young.”

She said her favorite trait among elephants is “the way they love and care for each other.”

Lek hit her teen years and she started traveling to the Burma border in order to help sick, abused and injured elephants.

Her life’s calling was emerging, and while she was still looking through a glass darkly, there came an irresistible calling of love, sacrifice and service for the elephants.

“At first I went to the border of Burma with a Christian missionary … then I started to go on my own. When I was in high school I wasn’t really much of a student. My teachers would tell me to open my backpack in order to see my books, but inside there were no books, only magazines, film and cosmetics. You see, I used to sell those items on the street in order to get money to buy medicine for the elephants on the Thai-Burma border. They were sick and injured and no one was there to help them. When I visited them I saw the eyes of the elephants, which were dead eyes. And I was heartbroken,” she said.

“As time passed, my backpack got bigger and bigger as I sold more things in order to buy more medicine for the elephants. They had become my life’s passion. I had antibiotics with me and learned all I could about medicine for the elephants.

“I would rent a Jeep and go where no other veterinarian would go. There were no more roads. One time, 100 people actually built a section of road for me so I could turn my Jeep around. For 13 kilometers (more than six miles) they pulled my Jeep through the mud with a strong rope,” she said.

Later she attended the university and studied library science, because officials wouldn’t allow her in veterinary classes.

Years in the wilderness

But her love for elephants was now growing, and her trials were beginning.

“There was a man staging Thai boxing matches in Chiang Mai, featuring a baby elephant with boxing gloves on. When he went around the city to ask for money with the baby elephant, I followed him with a sign reading ‘Don’t support this kind of elephant abuse.’ Eventually the man punched me right in the face. I was badly injured and my face was mangled. I had to wear a neck brace. I was sent to the hospital and had a head scan. I saw stars. There was pus and a terrible infection. I thought I would die. The man who did this to me was fined 500 Baht. (About $3),” she said.

She had crossed over from being an eccentric, enthusiastic youth to become a dues payer en route to a respected world-class activist on behalf of elephants.

“I love them,” she said. “I will never turn my back on them until the day I die”


Landmines are a major problems for elephants in both Burma and Thailand

Elephants don’t abandon their children. They don’t “trade up.” They mate for life. They don’t abuse. They have served as tanks and armored personnel carriers and to this day remain bulldozers.

Her fame soon spread. Organizations began paying attention to her warnings about Thailand’s elephant abuse. And opposition arose.

She’s had a gun held to her head, she was called “traitor” by Thailand’s government, the “Bangkok Post” printed accusations against her, she lost family and friends and her life was threatened.

In fact, it was during this time she was forced to run from house to house, eluding the shadowy assassins dispatched to hunt her down and kill her.

Amazingly, the Princess of Thailand, Rangsoi Napadol Yukol, interceded for Lek.

“The princess contacted me and said, ‘Lek they will kill you. You have to come and live with me in the Royal Palace … no one will be able to hurt you here.’ (Thailand’s current king is probably the most popular sovereign in modern world. His collection of perfect white elephants is considered an ancient symbol of the king’s divine right to rule). She also told me, ‘Lek, you are a train with no brake – a kamikaze.’ The princess found a lawyer for me. And people gave me some money, $100 or $200 or $300 at a time.”

But Lek couldn’t stay locked up on the royal palace forever. She had to leave if she was going to help the elephants. So she left, heading directly to the streets where elephants needed her.

“People would spit on my family … restaurants would not serve them. They told my little eight-year-old nephew that they would ‘bury’ me. My brother cried. I had to adopt an alias. (Sirinya Chaidee). People felt I was hurting Thailand as a boycott of tourism was being organized because of the revelations of the elephant abuse. I was so scared. I cried and cried. But then I thought of Mel Gibson in that movie ‘Braveheart’ and Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator.’ People can in fact change history and I felt that I would come back and achieve victory for the elephants. I thought, ‘I can take this abuse! I must fight for the elephants!’”

She withstood attacks in the form of a special television episode about her, offers from politicians for payments for her to shut up, and the hint of treason for her work.

“One day I sat down along Pat Pong Road … I looked around at the filth and I thought, ‘Why don’t [Thailand's elites] clean up this country?’ I thought, ‘I am a thorn under their feet … this country can change and I won’t give up. I am a strong Buddhist. I will not kill or steal or have an affair. I will not lie. The Buddha had a passion for animals and never wanted them to be sacrificed!’”

Her battles eventually took her into court.


The rescued elephants have become like family members to workers at the park

“Karen hill tribes wearing no shoes came to the biggest courthouse in Bangkok in order to testify on my behalf. They explained the cruel way in which the elephants were treated. It was the first time anything like this had happened – people coming barefoot into the court. I mean, they came all the way from the Burma border on the train … just for me. They helped me to take on Thailand’s mass media in court and win. I was able to clear my name,” she said.

Still, opposition remained. “Only the Princess of Thailand stood up to say, ‘This woman is speaking the truth.’ In the mass media, some in my family denounced me as a ‘Black Sheep.’ Lies were spread that the abuse of the elephants was happening in Burma, and not in Thailand,” she said.

At Lek’s trial, the Karen tribal members testified about the methods they use to train and control the elephants and where this “abuse” was taking place – inside the borders of Thailand. (Logging was made illegal in Thailand during the late 1980′s. Yet land mines, drug wars and the physical stress of tourist-based elephant trekking continued to devastate the elephants in the region at large).

It was after this trial that Lek and Thailand’s elephant began to turn the corner. A Texan who supplied coffee beans to Starbucks heard about Lek’s work with the elephants, and he donated the land which would become her Elephant Nature Park without condition. Now the framework was in place for a safe haven for the 4,500 elephants left in the nation, down from the 100,000 as of 1900.

We don’t need a baby elephant with two dead parents

But perhaps because of her growing successes, the attacks continued: Lek and her staff members were detained on payday when a clandestine and elite military/police unit showed up. There were sacks placed over the heads of the staff. One staff member had his face rearranged with the back end of an M-16 rifle. Stones were thrown at their cars. Lek was called various names, none of them printable.

And then came the worst possible. Lek had rescued a three-day-old baby elephant stuck between two trees in the jungle. The mother had been shot dead for daring to eat from some farmer’s field.

“Never before in history has it been documented that an elephant less than a week old survived without the mother,” Chailert told WND. “I stayed up with the baby, whom I named Ging Mai, day and night for six days. Then on the seventh day, I passed out from complete exhaustion. I had been giving the baby elephant milk from a bottle … and in the middle of the night Ging Mai woke me up to kiss me. It was then I knew he would live.”

Lek’s miraculous rescue of Ging Mai thrilled elephant lovers everywhere, but only served to further infuriate Thailand’s power brokers, who were still determined to somehow punish her.

“Sometimes I felt such fear … that I was walking alone on a dark road,” Chailert continued. “Many times I was set up by government people trying to put dirt on my name. For the last of couple years I’ve had hard times because of the elephants I rescued. We were constantly disturbed by government officials who allegedly came to check on us, but instead threatened and did anything they could to make our work too difficult and inconvenient to continue.

“Then one day a group of men came to see Ging Mai … ‘veterinarians’ … they said the government needed to check on my baby elephant. This was just days before his first birthday. They injected him with cyanide. Ging Mai ran to the lake and drank and drank water … I ran to him and he pushed at me … his eyes were all red. He was in agony and screaming. He died in my arms,” she said.

“Why, why, why did they murder my baby?” she said, while weeping almost hysterically in her Chiang Mai office.

Australian Michelle Kobylka, who has volunteered at the Elephant Nature Park over the past half decade, (and aspires to become a veterinarian, perhaps studying at Texas A&M) told WND that when Ging Mai was murdered, it left a huge vacuum at the park.

“We had this cart with wheels, and one of our elephants, Hope, used to play on it with Ging Mai. Ging Mai was only a baby. And when Ging Mai was murdered, Hope wouldn’t eat or play or do anything for days on end. I sat out in the field, crying and Hope came right up to me and put her trunk around me to offer consolation.”

Asia’s Hero

“Finally ‘Time Magazine’ announced me as ‘Time’s’ ‘Hero of Asia,’” Lek continued. “It seemed that I would finally find the light at the end of the tunnel, and the door of my dark room had opened. I felt safe again, not just only for me, but for our elephants as well.

“Most injuries to the elephants come from humans. I can say that the first reason is greed. People don’t understand the elephant’s nature. They use the elephant like a machine for making money. Sometimes when the elephant [is] sick they still force them to work – and then when the elephant rebels against such work they start to abuse the elephant in a cruel way.”

Lek Chailert has come a long way from her childhood and teen crusades to help Thailand’s elephants. These days she supervises a staff of 75 men and women who care for 33 elephants, including a little baby named, (no surprise) “Goldie.” Every day, visitors from around the world come to the Elephant Nature Park in order to feed (with corn, pineapples, bananas and watermelon at a cost over $250,000 per year), bathe and fuss over Lek’s elephants. It is here that visitors can take an excruciatingly long, slow walk with the gigantic yet gentle Max to the Mae Tang River for his bath, petting his trunk while his crushed legs make the journey.

There’s also the possibility for a special photography shoot arranged by Lek, even amongst the baby elephants and their massive and protective aunties.

Lek possesses a magical quality, an aura of humility and greatness. When she asked this writer to go to Sri Lanka on her behalf to investigate the plight of elephants at the baby elephant orphanage at Pinnewala, I dutifully went without question.

While at the Elephant Park, visitors also can listen to talks about the elephants given by expert guides. A film is also shown by the staff, (Jennifer Hile’s excellent “Vanishing Giants”) though the documentation of elephant abuse sometimes arouses great sadness and even anger. More than a few visitors told WND that capital punishment should be invoked for maiming and killing an elephant. One visitor remarked, “I’d have absolutely no problem with that.”

Former U.S. Navy Seal Mike Kelley, who saw the film, said, “You know I really love animals … elephants especially … but what the people do to the elephants …” his voice trailing off.

Says Chailert, “The volunteers and visitors provide most of the funds we get to help to support our elephant project. Some of our volunteers who stayed at the park help us raise money after they leave. Also, some school children around the world have adopted a few of the elephants and have helped support them.

“To see the elephants that have been rescued from very bad conditions … when they first arrive at the park they [are] like the living dead. Their eyes are empty and they are so skinny. Yet today I find them happy, joining new family groups, healthy and starting to play again. That is the most joyful thing to me and makes my heart smile,” she said.

Among Chailert’s many crusades is the “Jumbo Express,” an outreach to win the hearts and minds of the local hill tribes (Hmong, Karen and others) and teach them how to love and care for elephants through positive reinforcement.

Along with two professional veterinarians (one of whom hails from India), teams of volunteers (mostly college students, including veterinary students) they trek through the jungles of Northern Thailand in an effort to assist the injured elephants. Some projects include handing out presents at a local elementary school or undergoing back-breaking labor to build a community center.

Janna Schurer of Canada and Alexandra Bowes of Great Britain are archetypes of the new breed of elephant whisperer. Tall, blonde, pretty and well conditioned, these college students are not averse to getting their hands dirty, be it by handing out medicine for sows in a dark, rainy Karen village, or engaging in the aforementioned back-breaking labor.

Says Scherer, “Sometimes I think we have to consider why the people are so cruel to the elephants. Imagine being ‘them.’ Imagine their fear of these giant animals that could so easily kill you. There’s that other side to the whole question … why do they do what they do?”

Bowes, who spent part of her youth in Africa, said, “It used to be the vet schools were filled with men. Now it’s the other way around. When I do field work in the UK, some farmers wonder if I am qualified. I have to show them that I am qualified. Regardless, being in the field and volunteering is important to the future of any vet student.

“During the past months I was able to infiltrate an elephant camp, and I secretly took footage of elephants being tortured while being forced to paint pictures. You can see this kind of footage … the painting I mean … all over YouTube.com. But people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes as the elephants are tortured with knifes and hooks to make them paint. I hope to soon publish this footage on YouTube.com in the fall when I return to the UK.”

Women like Shurer and Bowes are the new face and hope for Thailand’s elephants, whether through their hidden cameras or the sweat of their brow. They plan to carry on Lek’s work, and teach the coming generation about what has been done to and for the elephants, as well as the work which remains incomplete.

Is international cooperation the answer? Some have floated the idea of a major transnational consortium or grouping of the major elephant nations – akin to the G-8. These nations would include Thailand, Burma, the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. These nations could hold periodic meetings and form strategies to help their respective elephant populations. These nations, be they Buddhist, Hindu, Maoist, Marxist and/or fascist, could put aside their differences in an effort to show solidarity with all the world’s elephants.

History starts now

As for her ultimate goal, Chailert said, “One day I want to see the elephants in Thailand finally have a real home. I want to see them living in freedom – elegantly — in their own kingdom. My dream for the future of Elephant Nature Park is to have the park for the elephants that we rescued featuring 24 hours per day of freedom in their safe homeland.”

What’s left now for her work? To start, laws could and should be enforced to make it illegal to profit from an elephant begging on the streets. Such laws do exist but they are not uniformly enforced. Second, more protections could be instituted for elephants.

Also, the centuries-old violent and torturous “crush” or special cage where a soon-to-be domesticated elephant’s spirit is broken while long carpentry-style nails are sometimes stabbed into its inner ear should be re-examined.

And the forced “painting” by the elephants as depicted on YouTube.com must be exposed and forever ended.

There also have been proposals for land to be set aside for Thailand’s elephants. Such a “homeland” offers great promise. Consider that the nation of Borneo has set up an elite unit in which elephant rescuers, including veterinarians, a sharp shooter (armed with tranquilizers) and a super mahout/guide, slip into the jungle where needed. They perform surgery on the elephants on site in the jungle. The elephants in Borneo number around 1,600. Some leaders of the herds are monitored in real time by state-of-the-art tracking devices.

Since Thailand’s 5th Special Forces Regiment sits only a few miles down the road from Lek Chailert’s Elephant Nature Park, it is not hard to imagine some form of synergy emerging and a similar elite elephant unit being duplicated in Thailand.

Donations for Thailand elephant rescue efforts: Account Name: Elephant Nature Park Account No501-3-08706-7 Siam Commercial bank Thapae Branch Chiang Mai Swift Code: SICO-TH-BK

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=76074

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 29, 2008 at 4:10 am

World focus on Burma (28 September 2008)

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Correspondent visits Burma on anniversary of Saffron Revolution
ABC Online, Australia -
I also needed an interview with an official of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. It was a tall order, but within an hour it had all been …

Transcript of Sarkozy’s interview
India Today, India -
We shall further raise regional issues of common interest, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran or Burma. We shall discuss Euro-Indian …

Rebuke for Burma from world powers
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia -

The talks on Saturday underlined “the responsibility of the Myanmar [Burma] Government to demonstrate its stated commitment to co-operation with the good …

Monks stage quiet protest as world powers call for Burma reform
The Age, Australia -

Women in bamboo hats,  symbol of the National League for Democracy, gather outside the organisation's Rangoon headquarters to mark its 20th anniversary.

Women in bamboo hats, symbol of the National League for Democracy, gather outside the organisation’s Rangoon headquarters to mark its 20th anniversary. Photo: AP

… four visits to Burma since the protests a year ago but failed to restart a dialogue between detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta or …

Venezuela Doubles Up On Chinese Jets
Strategy Page -
China has exported K-8s to several other countries (often at bargain prices), including Myanmar (Burma). The K8 (also called JL-8) is a 4.3 ton, two seat, …

In Self Defense
Brussels Journal, Belgium -
You see, the picture includes a failed government that is inspired by the Burmese junta when it resorts to its riot police. Then there is an opposition with …

Burmese Muslims appreciate Turkey’s aid during Ramadan
http://www.worldbulletin.net, Turkey -

Muslim families in Myanmar, a country which lost over 150000 citizens to the Cyclone Nargis, were delivered food packages by the IHH officials. …

Sunday newspaper round-up: Bradford and Bingley, US bailout plan, WPP
ShareCast, UK -
The Foreign Office has written to Lloyd’s of London chairman Lord Levene to outline its disapproval that Lloyd’s brokers are trading with the Burmese …

France will launch nuke cooperation with India: Sarkozy
Deccan Herald, India -
Regional issues of common interest, such as the situation in Afghanistan , Pakistan , Iran and Burma are also expected to figure in the discussions. …

In case you were on Mars the past week …
Edmonton Sun,  Canada -
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have donated $1 million to Human Rights Watch for their efforts in Burma and Zimbabwe. – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have …

Burma: Political prisoner released but thousands remain
Green Left Weekly, Australia -
This is the result of struggles by solidarity and civil society groups alongside exiled Burmese activists, responding to Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for a total …

Asean’s man of passion at the helm
Emirates Business 24/7, United Arab Emirates -
“He’s a very smart guy,” said Dave Mathieson, a consultant on Burma for the US-based Human Rights Watch. “He’s a good diplomat. …

Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand -
Last year, my office dedicated the 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report to a group of Burmese fishermen who were trafficked on fishing boats. …

Myanmar’s junta asked to expedite political dialogue
Press Trust of India, India -
United Nations, Sept 28 (PTI) Members of a group of nations, including India who are aiding efforts of the UN in expediting political dialogue in Myanmar …

The Power of Elections: Photo Exhibit Captures Pivotal Campaigns
PR-CANADA.net (press release), Montenegro -
… including Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle against the Burmese junta, ending in her house arrest, and opposition rallies in Zimbabwe before Robert Mugabe’s …

US Cuba policy: Aid needed, but sanctions must remain
Sun-Sentinel.com, FL -
Similar to pressure applied to the Burmese junta after the cyclone that ravaged that country earlier this year, it is imperative for all Americans to join …

Cuba Vs. Blockade
Mindanao Examiner, Philippines -
… its MasterCard credit cards could not be used in Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Iran or the Sudan, as part of the economic sanctions imposed by Washington. …

UK: World ready to help Zim if democracy respected
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa -
It is the result of mismanagement by the Mugabe regime,” Miliband told reporters after attending a ministerial session on Burma hosted by United Nations …

THE ORIGIN OF DISHES
Tampa Tribune, FL -
Orange – cultivated for more than 4000 years, the fruit probably is native to India, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Southwest China. …

Burma summit unable to
Washington Times, DC -

Saturday’s high-level meeting on Burma, also known as Myanmar, produced little agreement about the next steps beyond a wary but ill-defined engagement by …

Key nations call on Myanmar to release Suu Kyi
The Associated Press -
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nations concerned about Myanmar called on its military government Saturday to release all political prisoners, including pro-democracy …

Monks March in Myanmar on Anniversary of Crackdown
New York Times, United States -
By AP YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — About 100 Buddhist monks in a western city in Myanmar staged a peaceful protest march on Saturday to mark the anniversary of …

FO warns Lloyd’s over Burma
guardian.co.uk, UK -
Lloyd’s has historically been involved in Burma, despite international boycotts. Its syndicates reinsure the junta’s aviation and shipping interests, …

Aggression, Retaliatory Behavior, and the Buddhist Sangha
OpEdNews, PA -
It is a great irony that while Burma sells unrefined natural gas to neighboring countries, due to lack of capacity to purify such gas domestically, …

“That degree of cooperation has not been forthcoming from the Burmese (Myanmar) regime and remains the fundamental tenet of the friends of the secretary …

UN group aims to keep world focus on Myanmar
Reuters -
… UN group on Myanmar vowed on Saturday to keep the world spotlight on the troubled country and to press the military rulers of the former Burma to comply …

Democracy more important in Sweden´s new international aid policy
Stockholm News, Sweden -
The main message in the new policy is that poverty is not only measured in money, but also in terms of basic liberties meaning human rights. …

The UN secretary-general convened the first ministerial level meeting of the so-called “Friends of Myanmar” – the other name by which Burma is known. …

Freedom of movement in Sri Lanka and registration of new residents …
Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka -
Syria and Myanmar (Burma) too have recognised the principle though cautious in the process of implementation. Article 12 of the African Charter on Human …

27 September 2008 – Members of a group of nations helping Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his efforts to spur change in Myanmar today encouraged the …

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — About 100 Buddhist monks in a western Myanmar city staged a peaceful protest march Saturday to mark the anniversary of last year’s …

New hopes for democracy in Burma?
Manila Times, Philippines -
… first meeting Saturday to advance democratic reforms in Burma. That country, now officially known as Myanmar, has been ruled by the military since 1962. …

Monks protest in Sittwe, western Burma
Mizzima.com, India -
But activists and opposition political groups said, the number of deaths following the junta’s brutal crackdown could be hundreds if not thousands.



Burmese junta arrests 9 NLD members on 20th Founding day of the party

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Mizzima News

Junta arrests nine party members on NLD’s 20th anniversary

Saturday, 27 September 2008 19:11

New Delhi – Burmese junta authorities on Saturday arrested nine members of the opposition party – the National League for Democracy – who were travelling to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of the party’s founding day, the party spokesperson said.

Nyan Win, spokesperson of the NLD said nine of his party members including Htet Htet Oo Wai and Daw Shan Ma were rounded up by plainclothes security personnel as they stepped off a bus near the NLD head office in Shwegondine Street in Bahan Township.

“They were picked up by plainclothes policemen. We don’t know the names of the other seven,” Nyan Win said.

The NLD spokesperson said, at least a thousand plainclothes security personnel were present in and around the party office as members marked the 20th anniversary of the party’s founding day. The security personnel also took video footage and still photographs of the people attending the function.

“There were about 500 people attending the 20th anniversary day but I think the security people were double our number,” Nyan Win said.

The anniversary function was also attended by the recently released veteran journalist and the NLD party founding member U Win Tin, Khin Maung Swe and Dr Than Nyien.

During the function, the current party Chairman Aung Shwe requested Win Tin, Khin Swe and Dr. Than Nyien to resume their old positions and their work with the party.

Win Tin, who was detained for over 19 years, and Khin Maung Swe, earlier served as NLD’s central committee members before they were arrested while Dr. Than Nyien was the vice-chairman of the Rangoon Division NLD.

Win Tin, the veteran journalist, said he welcomed the offer made by the NLD chairman as he had always supported the party.

“I have always exhorted the people to support the NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. So, we accept the offer in principle but I am not sure when we can actually take up the responsibility because we have to do a lot of work to catch up with,” Win Tin told Mizzima over telephone after the function.

But he said, the first thing that the three of them would like to do is to fight for freedom of the remaining political prisoners, who are continuously suffering under deplorable prison conditions.

“It will include demanding the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo, and when they are freed, we will continue urging for a political dialogue,” Win Tin said.

According to the Thailand based Assistant Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), there are over 2,000 political prisoners including student leader Min Ko Naing and his 88 generation colleagues, still languishing in prisons across Burma.

Meanwhile, Nyan Win said, the party is proud to be able to celebrate its 20th anniversary despite the ruling junta’s severe crackdown on its party members.

“I, personally, am very satisfied with what the NLD party has been able to do so far. For the past 20 years, despite severe repression by the government, the NLD is being able to maintain its stand as a political opposition party,” Nyan Win said.

He added that the party will continue to uphold its principle of fighting for democracy and human rights in the country through non-violent means.

Reporting by Solomon & The The, writing by Mungpi

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/1107-junta-arrests-nine-party-members-on-nlds-20th-anniversary.html

Democratic Voice of Burma

Nine arrested at NLD anniversary celebration

Sep 27, 2008 (DVB)–

Nine members of the National League for Democracy were arrested today at a ceremony to mark the party’s 20th anniversary, according to NLD information committee member Dr Win Naing.

Ma Htet Htet Oo Wai and Daw Shan Ma from Shwepyitha township were among those arrested, along with six unnamed youth members and a middle-aged woman.

Six people were arrested before the ceremony at a bus stop near the Yazana hotel adjacent to the NLD headquarters as soon as they got off the bus, while three others were detained after the event.

Around 500 people attended the event, which began at 12 noon.

Some youth and women members wearing yellow shirts lined up in front of the NLD headquarter to commemorate the monk-led demonstrations that were brutally crushed a year ago.

Newly-released political prisoners U Win Tin and U Khin Maung Swe were reinstated in their previous positions, while Dr Thein Nyein was re-appointed deputy chair of Rangoon division NLD.

U Win Tin gave a speech at the ceremony demanding the release of all political prisoners, claiming that those who had been released felt ashamed that others were still not free, and called for unity among political groups.

There has been heavy security on Shwegondaing road and around the NLD headquarters, with soldiers, police and Swan Arr Shin members standing by on trucks.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=1796

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Bangkok Post

27-9-2008

Burma arrests three on NLD anniversary

Rangoon (dpa) – The military government arrested at least three National League for Democracy (NLD) supporters Saturday before the opposition party celebrated its 20-year anniversary, witnesses said.

Police detained two men and one women near the NLD headquarters before the anniversary ceremony to mark the establishment of the party in 1988.

Before the ceremony about 10 people shouted slogans including “Free Aung San Suu Kyi” and released birds from cages in front of the NLD headquarters, but it was unclear if those arrested were part of that group.

Journalist U Win Tin, 79, who was released from 19 years in prison last Tuesday, attended the anniversary celebration for his first time, having been in prison on all the previous anniversaries.

He said he would help NLD and its leader Suu Kyi in the struggle for democracy.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi remained under house arrest and could not attend the ceremony. She has been under house arrest for 13 of the last 19 years.

Before U Win Tin was released last Tuesday, as part of a broad amnesty that freed 9,002 prisoners, he was Burma‘s longest-serving political prisoner.

Two NLD members who were also released on Tuesday, U Khin Maung Swe and Dr Than Nyein, also Saturday’s attended celebration.

Missing from the ceremony was NLD member Win Htien who was one of the 9,002 released last Tuesday, but was arrested again less than a day later.

Win Htien was a founding member of the NLD in 1988.

NLD chairman U Aung Shwe issued a statement calling for the military junta to immediately release Suu Kyi and NLD vice chairman U Tin Oo from detention “because of their unrelenting efforts for the emergence of democracy and human rights in the country.”

U Aung Shwe also called for the release of all other political prisoners. The United Nations puts that number at about 2,000.

While the junta holds absolute power in Burma, the international community still supports Suu Kyi as the most credible leader of the country. The NLD won the 1990 elections in a landslide, but the junta refused to recognize the results.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=130955

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Tainted milk – toxic

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This post is especially for Burma/Myanmar where some users may need reliable information about imported toxic milk from China.

Admin

………………….

27-9-2008

China tries to reassure public over milk scare

Melamine has been blamed for the China milk crisis that has sickened nearly 53,000 children

Tags with the Chinese characters reading “does not contain melamine” at a supermarket in Chengdu

A saleswoman places a label showing the Chinese characters “does not contain melamine” at a supermarket in Chengdu

Milk products for sale in Manila

BEIJING (AFP) — China on Saturday scrambled to reassure the public over a toxic milk scandal, announcing that nearly 50 Chinese brands which had been tested contained no melamine.

The government said it had tested 47 brands of milk and yoghurt and detected no trace of melamine, the industrial chemical discovered in baby milk powder that has sickened 53,000 children and killed four so far.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision checked 296 batches of dairy products from the brands across the country’s major cities, an official at the agency confirmed to AFP on Saturday.

“No melamine was detected,” the agency said on its website.

The test was good news for China, which has sought to contain a scandal that has had global repercussions, with countries and regions around the world rushing to ban or restrict its milk products.

The European Union on Friday decided to stop all imports of baby food containing traces of milk from China, and Hong Kong ordered a recall of two products found to contain melamine, including a brand of Heinz baby food.

Japan meanwhile has ordered firms which import dairy products from China to test them for melamine after the chemical — which is normally used to make plastics — was found in four items made by one of its leading food makers.

In China, where more than 7,000 tonnes of tainted dairy products had already been removed from shops across the country, a popular candy brand became the latest victim on Friday.

The maker of White Rabbit sweets, given to US president Richard Nixon on a landmark 1972 trip, announced it was halting domestic sales after its products were found to contain melamine.

“Currently, it is extremely important to restore consumer confidence in the country’s milk product brands,” Chen Deming, Commerce Minister, said Saturday in a statement on the central government website.

“This can only be achieved through our efforts, through effective monitoring and detection.”

New cases of children falling ill after drinking tainted milk also continued to emerge in China, with 176 new cases detected in the capital, the Beijing Times reported Saturday.

Authorities in Shanghai also revealed that about five percent of children under three in the city had showed symptoms of possible kidney stones after being fed contaminated milk powder, the China Daily said Friday.

A hospital in Taiwan said three young children had developed kidney stones after drinking Chinese milk formula, and the mother of one of the children had also fallen ill.

Hong Kong has reported five cases of children falling ill from drinking tainted milk, in the only other cases reported outside mainland China so far.

Chinese scientists said they were developing a chemical substance that could detect melamine fast and cheaply, and could be used by any dairy farmer, the official Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.

Professors at Lanzhou University in northwest China told Xinhua a dose of the reagent could detect traces of melamine in 20 minutes and would only cost 20 yuan (3 dollars), compared to the longer process of laboratory testing.

The university is to develop the reagent at the request of the government in Gansu province.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gekWpkuo02xKcJtwO15kbyRQELKQ

China toxic milk victims seen to rise by 10,000

Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:04am EDT

By Chris Buckley

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese provinces have reported nearly 10,000 additional cases of children who have developed kidney illnesses after drinking toxic milk formula in recent days, local media reported on Friday.

Attention on the growing scandal in China was at least temporarily overshadowed by the launch late on Thursday of China’s third manned space mission, which is set to include the technologically ambitious nation’s first space walk.

But Beijing is battling public alarm and international dismay after thousands of Chinese children were hospitalized, sick from milk formula tainted with melamine, a cheap industrial chemical that can be used to cheat quality checks. Four have died.

The Ministry of Health has not issued a fresh count of infants suffering kidney problems and complications since Sunday.

It said then that 12,892 were in hospital, 104 with serious illness, and close to 40,000 others were affected but did not need major treatment.

However more recent counts from province-level health authority numbers across the country showed that at least another 9,959 cases have been diagnosed this week with illnesses linked to the toxic milk.

Much of that rise was in Hebei, the northern province that is home to Sanlu Dairy group, which made the contaminated formula that sparked the broader milk scandal.

The Hebei Daily (hbrb.hebnews.cn) said Hebei province alone had diagnosed 13,773 cases up to Thursday, an increase of 4,794 on four days earlier.

Shao Mingli, head of the State Food and Drug Administration, warned his staff that the government would not tolerate cover-ups or reporting delays, after local officials sat on news for at least a month — if not longer — that Sanlu’s milk was suspect.

“Under no circumstances turn a deaf ear to people’s complaints and pretend they do not exist,” he told a meeting, according to the transcript of a speech on the watchdog’s website (www.sda.gov.cn).

CONTAMINATED POWDER

Millions across China watched the launch of the Shenzhou VII spacecraft on live television on Thursday and images of the rocket blasting off dominated official newspapers.

But the health and political fallout from children poisoned with melamine is hardly likely to disappear soon.

There are no numbers available yet for China’s big commercial hub, Shanghai, but state media said many infants there may have been affected.

“A recent city-wide health check of children under three years old showed about five percent were diagnosed with symptoms of possible kidney stones after being fed contaminated powdered milk,” the China Daily reported.

The count of recent provincial-level numbers indicated 1,019 additional children were hospitalized this week. But the statistics did not make clear if those cases were included in or separate from the larger number diagnosed with kidney damage.

The count from provincial sources showed no new deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) representative in China said effective medical help made many more deaths unlikely.

“We don’t expect a large increase in the number of deaths, because we have to remember that a child usually doesn’t die from a kidney stone itself, but from its complications,” WHO representative Hans Troedsson told a news conference in Beijing.

“… the treatment has been shown (to be) effective in China,” he said.

The Maldives became the latest country to pull Chinese dairy products from its shelves.

“Our inspectors have gone out, plus we are warning the public on TV and radio,” said Moosa Anwar, director-general at the Maldives Food and Drug Authority.

Hong Kong’s government set up a taskforce on Friday that will find ways to manage the huge numbers of children turning up for kidney examinations and to cope with mainland Chinese who are traveling to Hong Kong to have their children checked.

Five cases of children made sick by drinking tainted milk have been reported in Hong Kong.

Taiwan media reported three cases involving four children and an adult with kidney stones or signs of calcification in the kidneys. In one case, a 3-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother were found to have kidney stones after drinking milk made with powder from China, the Liberty Times reported.

The European Commission proposed on Thursday tests and restrictions on Chinese food products containing powdered milk. UNICEF and the World Health Organization called China’s growing milk scandal “deplorable.”

In Shanghai, the producer of China’s popular White Rabbit Creamy Candies said it would stop domestic sales of such sweets, Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.

The candy’s producer, Guanshengyuan, had earlier recalled its exports to more than 50 countries.

Nitrogen-rich melamine can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen levels to measure the amount of protein in milk. The chemical is used in pesticides and in making plastics.

(Additional reporting by James Pomfret and Tan Ee Lyn in Hong Kong, Judith Evans in Male, Gina Chang in Taipei and Liu Zhen, Yu Le and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Paul Tait)

© Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Thomson Reuters group of companies around the world.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE48P3JA20080926?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 27, 2008 at 10:51 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , , ,

High level UN talks set to grapple with Myanmar issue

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27-9-2008

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Ministers from UN Security Council permanent member states and mostly Asian nations are to hold their first meeting Saturday aimed at pushing for reforms in military-ruled Myanmar.

UN Secretary Genereal Ban Ki-moon called for the informal talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly amid little signs the military rulers will embrace political reforms, one year after a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Yet, officials said the first ministerial meeting of Ban’s so-called “group of friends on Myanmar” would raise the profile of the longstanding internationl demand for the junta to hold a dialogue with the democratic opposition and polish up its human rights record.

“The fact that these countries are attending at the ministerial level and have agreed to this meeting shows that they are putting the Myanmar issue as a high concern,” Ban’s spokeswoman Choi Soung-Ah told AFP.

The group’s envoys at the UN headquarters in New York had met several times since its first meeting in December last year.

The group comprises permanent Security Council members United States, Britain, France, Russia and China as well as Australia, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

An observer from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will also be present.

Since Myanmar’s violent military crackdown pro-democracy protests in September last year, repression “has increased and the military government has failed to deliver on promises it made a year ago, despite international efforts at mediation,” said Human Rights Watch, an independent US group.

The crackdown left 31 people dead, including a Japanese journalist who was shot at close range, according to the United Nations. Another 74 people remain missing and thousands more were arrested.

Ban’s special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has made four visits to the country since the bloody uprising but failed to restart a dialogue between detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta or achieve significant gains.

While he came under criticism from disgruntled dissident groups, Choi cautioned: “That’s the only window we have and let’s not shoot the messenger.”

The Security Council is divided on the issue, with China and Russia having vetoed a previous moves urging Myanmar to swiftly return to democracy and free all political detainees.

Last Tuesday, the junta freed seven political prisoners and members of the Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy, including the well-known journalist Win Tin, 79, who had been imprisoned since 1989.

But a day later, one activist was rearrested according to Myanmar exiles in Thailand.

Human Rights Watch said 39 political arrests had been made in August and September alone, bringing the total number of political prisoners to more than 2,100.

The military junta, which has ruled the country since 1962, was criticised for holding a referendum in May, just days after a cyclone left 138,000 people dead or missing across the country.

Pro-democracy activists said the vote was neither free nor fair, but the military said a new constitution issued after the referendum has paved the way for multi-party elections to be held in 2010.

The rules render Nobel Peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi ineligible to stand for election. Her party won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gWK5ys_qxCmOOHtoR1QwWCkRX70A

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 27, 2008 at 3:58 am

World focus on Burma (27 September 2008)

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Monks in Myanmar mark crackdown anniversary
Hindu, India -
YANGON (AP): About 100 Buddhist monks in a western Myanmar city staged a peaceful protest march on Saturday to mark the anniversary of last year’s bloody …

Junta arrests nine party members on NLD’s 20th anniversary
Mizzima.com, India -
New Delhi – Burmese junta authorities on Saturday arrested nine members of the opposition party – the National League for Democracy – who were travelling to …

Suu Kyi’s party marks anniversary
Aljazeera.net, Qatar -

“An indelible black stain will be tainted in the political history of Burma by the omission of the authorities to perform according to the laws enacted by …

Myanmarese commemorate ”Saffron Revolution” anniversary in New Delhi
Thaindian.com, Thailand -
Myanmar or Burma’’s military regime had brutally cracked down on one of the most powerful and peaceful demonstration led by thousands of Buddhist monks and …

Nine arrested at NLD anniversary celebration
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 27, 2008 (DVB)–Nine members of the National League for Democracy were arrested today at a ceremony to mark the party’s 20th anniversary, according to …


“An indelible black stain will be tainted in the political history of Burma by the omission of the authorities to perform according to the laws enacted by …

One year after the massacre of the monks, the repression continues …
AsiaNews.it, Italy -
Last year, the ruling dictatorship in Myanmar blocked a series of revolts organized by the Burmese monks, and supported by pro-democracy activists; …

Burma arrests three on NLD anniversary
Bangkok Post, Thailand -
Before U Win Tin was released last Tuesday, as part of a broad amnesty that freed 9002 prisoners, he was Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner. …

UK FCO: First anniversary of protests in Burma
ISRIA (subscription), DC -
… one year on, Burma’s rulers continue to resist international efforts to support peace, prosperity and democracy in the country, despite repeated calls …

UN rejects appeal to unseat junta
Mizzima.com, India -
… they will continue exposing the appalling human rights violations in Burma under the military junta and will continue appealing to the international …

Myanmar activists rally in Tokyo
Straits Times, Singapore -
In a rare break from Western nations, Japan maintains friendly relations with the military regime in Myanmar. Activists wearing ethnic Burmese costumes …

Rise of the Xenophobic elements
KanglaOnline, India -
Our neighbour Burma (Myanmar) also was greatly influenced. Unfortunately all the development of the second millennia had diverted its route from our part of …

Exiled Burmese freedom fighter dies in Ithaca (Ko Han Lin)
Ithaca Journal, NY -
It was the first such resolution in an American city calling attention to the situation in Burma, which the regime now prefers to be called Myanmar. …

Jailed protestors transferred to more remote prisons
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
… Daw Khin Lay, U Thet Tun and U Thein Tun were sent to Insein prison, and then transferred on to Myingyan and Pakokku jails in upper Burma. …

Today in History – September 27
NDTV.com, India -
… led by Aung San Suu Kyi was founded. Suu Kyi is a pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar, …

Immigrants immersed for school system
Durham Herald Sun, NC -
All the students currently enrolled in the program are refugees from the Karen region of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Growing up in refugee camps, …

About 500 persecuted Burmese minorities resettling in Fort Worth
Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX -
By JIM JONES FORT WORTH — Members of Agape Baptist Church are giving a warm welcome to about 100 “Karen people” from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, …

Row over Giggs’ honour
Manchester Evening News, UK -
… unhappy with the decision after nominating recipient Burmese political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi for the honour in January. …

The Right Wing Nation
OpEdNews, PA -
That may be a bit of hyperbole, since there are absolute monarchies like Saudi Arabia, theocracies like Iran, and military dictatorships like Burma/Myanmar …

Ten National Security Myths
New America Foundation, DC -
Second, a League of Democracies would be no more effective than other organizations in solving humanitarian problems like those in Burma and Darfur or in …

One Down, 2100 To Go
Voice of America -
The military junta that rules Burma has released its longest-serving political prisoner, journalist U Win Tin after 19 years in jail. …

Burma Marks Crackdown Anniversary as One of World’s Worst Regimes
NewsBlaze, CA -
The actions of Burma’s junta in the year since it lethally suppressed mass pro-democracy demonstrations have further cemented its standing as one of the …

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Tun Myint, has completed …
Carleton College News, MN -
“Challenges Facing State building in Burma,” in Mark Sproule-Jones, Barbara Allen, and Filippo Sabetti (eds.), The Struggle to Constitute and Sustain …

British PM Calls for Global Action on Financial Crisis
Voice of America -
And he called for standing firm against oppression in Burma and said the international community must send a strong signal of its support for democracy and …

Burma: Inside the Saffron Revolution: After the uprising, what comes next?

image image image image
PBS -
The general, trained in psychological warfare, so reviles the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi that he will not allow her name to be uttered in his …

To Implement Amendments to the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act …
Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC -
… as amended by section 6(a) of the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-286) (the “JADE Act”), …

Robert Ménard stands down as Reporters Without Borders secretary …
Organisation de la Presse Africaine (Communiqués de presse), Switzerland -
I cannot imagine a life that does not a involve a commitment to serving the values of democracy, freedoms and human rights, which in my view gives meaning …

UN rejects request for Myanmar junta’s seat
International Herald Tribune, France -
The military has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1962 and has been widely criticized for suppressing basic freedoms. The current junta, which took …

The Power of Elections: Photo Exhibit Captures Pivotal Campaigns
NewsBlaze, CA -
… Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle against the Burmese junta, ending in her house arrest, and opposition rallies inZimbabwe before Robert Mugabe’s crackdown. …

Wen Jiabao unwelcome in New York City
Phayul, Tibet -
… such as the Falun Gong group, Chinese human rights activists etc, but also supports other brutal regimes such as the ones in Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe. …

Burma Gives Amnesty to 9000 Prisoners
OneWorld US, DC -
“I will be happy only when all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi are released,” Win Tin told Burmese journalists shortly after his release. …

Rights & Wrongs: Relgious Freedom, Arms Control, Venezuela, and More
World Politics Review -
HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES PUSHING FOR GLOBAL ARMS TREATY — As officials from around the world prepare to meet at the United Nations in October to consider a …

Junta’s secret plan: Closer relationship with China
Mizzima.com, India -
The minutes of the meeting, dated July 6, 2008, state that in order to defend the country against US influence, Burma cannot stand alone without any …

Key political prisoners released prior to elections in Burma
The Daily Star, Bangladesh -
“While the release of U Win Tin and his fellow prisoners is certainly the best news to come out of Myanmar for a long time, unfortunately they represent …

‘We are still angry, but we bury it’
guardian.co.uk, UK -
The nightly performance of the Moustache Brothers, Burma’s best-known comedians and renowned opponents of the regime, is struggling. …

Myanmar dissident enjoys just 17 hours of freedom
The Associated Press -
According to the US Campaign for Burma, Win Htein was arrested briefly in early 1989 and tortured, then arrested again in 1989 and held until 1995. Myanmar …

SKN on UN Committee to review Burma’s membership
Sun St.Kitts/Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis -
St. Kitts/Nevis has been appointed to a nine-member United Nations Credentials Committee set up to review a challenge to the Burma’s membership. …

In fact Aung San Suu Kyi is said to have refused to see him in August, with her party describing the visit as a “waste of time”. “The government knows how …

International Community Should Hold Burmese Military Government …
BBSNews, NC -
BBSNews 2008-09-26 — New York (HRW) The international community should demand accountability from the Burmese military government for the brutal crackdown …

Bombs a year after Myanmar crackdown
Custer County Chief, NE -
Outside the country hundreds of monks, Burmese dissidents and human rights activists gathered in both Thailand and the Philippines to commemorate those …

YANGON (AFP) — Armed police in trucks patrolled Myanmar’s main city Friday as frightened protesters stayed home on the anniversary of last year’s brutal …

Myanmar Writhes in the Grip of Its Junta
New York Times, United States -
The generals’ domination in Myanmar, formerly Burma, has been tested repeatedly over the past two decades — by the monks last September, by Daw Aung San Suu …

Trouble brewing again in Myanmar’s monasteries*
Radio Netherlands, Netherlands -

By our correspondent* A year after the monks’ protests were crushed it seems peaceful in Myanmar, formerly Burma. A Radio Netherlands Worldwide reporter …

Call to raise Burma issue at UN
The Press Association -
Irish campaigners for democracy in Burma urged the Foreign Affairs Minister to raise the issue at a United Nations summit on Monday. …

Unforgettable: The anniversary of the ‘Saffron Revolution’ crackdown
Mizzima.com, India -
On September 26, 2007, the Burmese military junta ordered soldiers to open fire on a protesting crowd led by Buddhist monks. According to the United Nations …

Illegal Burmese Rice Exports Boom on Thai Border
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Burma’s junta officially banned the border rice trade after Cyclone Nargis struck the country’s Irrawaddy delta on May 2-3. The storm devastated much of the …


Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 27, 2008 at 1:32 am

World focus on Burma (26 September 2008)

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Win Htein remains in Katha prison
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 26, 2008 (DVB)–Political prisoner Win Htein, who was released on Tuesday and re-arrested the following day, remains in Katha prison but has been given …

Under the Dragon celebrates the ‘gentle generosity’ of the natives …
The North Bay Nugget, Canada -
Rory Maclean’s Under the Dragon is the finest book you will ever read about Burma — that tragically abused and heartbreakingly beautiful southeast Asian …

Denmark continues to be the world’s least corrupt country
Copenhagen Capacity, Denmark -
For the second consecutive year, Somalia and Myanmar (former Burma) have bottom rankings. The countries are ranked on a scale from 0-10, 0 being the lowest. …

Checks and search operations in Rangoon after bomb blast
Mizzima.com, India -
New Delhi – The Burmese military junta authorities are searching and monitoring crowded places such as traffic lampposts, markets and bus stops in the wake …

Rights groups deplore pervading atmosphere of repression in Burma
Mizzima.com, India -
Specifically, the rights watchdog references the fact that dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is presently non-existent, …

1st anniversary of Burma’s bloody Saffron Revolution
OpEdNews, PA -
As a result of the junta’s excessive use of violence, nearly 100 monks and many lay people were killed. Over 8000 people were arrested nationwide. …

NLD to Celebrate 20th Anniversary
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Filipino protesters display photos of Burma’s last year protests led by Buddhist monks during a silent protest outside the Burmese Embassy at the financial …

Doing What Needs to be Done
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Earlier this week, The Irrawaddy spoke with Win Tin, Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner, who was released on Tuesday after spending 19 years behind …

UNESCO: Director-General welcomes Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin …
ISRIA (subscription), DC -
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today expressed his “immense joy” over the release by the authorities of Myanmar of U Win Tin, …

EU: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU following …
ISRIA (subscription), DC -
… the Burmese authorities, showing a real willingness to meet the expectations of the international community, in both political and human rights terms, …

Release Aung San Suu Kyi: Laura Bush
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
By LALIT K JHA / UNITED NATIONS The US first lady Laura Bush on Thursday again urged the Burmese military junta to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu …

Weekly Business Roundup (September 26, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
It’s believed to be associated with shipping and aviation—key transport in junta-linked exports. The British human rights NGO Burma Campaign UK says its …

Gambari Should Be Tougher on Junta: PM in Exile
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Gambari is often accused by critics of spending more time in the company of the junta than with pro-democracy leaders when he is in Burma. …

False dawn in Myanmar
Asia Times Online, Hong Kong -
There is no word yet if opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), or other opposition parties, will be allowed to …

Burma on alert on anniversary of Saffron Revolution
Radio Australia, Australia -
CHO: He is a former army captain and senior assistant to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He was released from Kosar prison in northern Burma but a few hours later he …

Laura Bush implores junta to respect international appeals
Mizzima.com, India -
… democratic opposition for several years, and an especially avid observer of the prolonged plight of Burma’s detained democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Burma: UK Considers Further Sanctions
UNPO, Netherlands -
Britain has admitted that it could seek further sanctions against the Burmese junta if it fails to improve its human rights record and deliver on promises …

World at a glance
InTheNews.co.uk, UK -
Britain has admitted that it could seek further sanctions against the Burmese junta if it fails to improve its human rights record and deliver on promises …

Philippine activists remember violent Myanmar protests
Earthtimes (press release), UK -
Egoy Bans, leader of the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines, said the repression in Myanmar continues and the military has been arresting pro-democracy …

No Happy Anniversary for Than Shwe
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
… political struggle, as he was considered to be close to detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and is known to command respect among Burmese people. …

Bitterness lingers on in Burma a year after `Saffron Revolution’
Toronto Star,  Canada -
… of the new constitution would also bar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from holding any kind of political office in Burma, also known as Myanmar. …

The trouble with India
European Voice, Belgium -
It would irritate China, undermine India’s status at the UN and complicate regional diplomacy with Iran, Burma and central Asian autocracies. …

EDITORIAL: Let’s weigh dangers before we jump into biofuel production
ThisDay, United Republic of Tanzania -
Several years ago, faced with growing food shortages, the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) ordered farmers throughout the country to start growing …

Fearless, and not forgotten
Guardian Unlimited, UK -
And exactly a year ago today those protests in Burma were met by brutal force from the ruling military junta. Hundreds were injured in the crackdown as the …

Myanmar junta flexes muscles a year after crackdown
Reuters UK, UK -
Security was especially tight near the house of detained opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and in front of City Hall, where a small …

Thida: Imprisonment a temporary death
The Brown Daily Herald, RI -

Thida, this year’s International Writers Project fellow, was imprisoned by the Burmese government in 1993 for actively supporting Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Monks travelling to Rangoon subjected to rigorous checks
Independent Mon News Agency, WA -
Monks from rural areas in Burma are undergoing stringent checking by the military junta authorities. The checks begin from the onset of their journey till …

On the first anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, despite U Win …
Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand -
Despite attempts by the military regime to hinder the operations of the traditional media like television and radio, hundreds of Burmese civilians used the …

Tight security in Myanmar
Straits Times, Singapore -
‘Human rights were violated here,’ he said. The protests began sporadically in late August 2007 over a hike in fuel prices, and slowly escalated. …

Unrest in Malaysia, Thailand – The Washington Times
International Analyst Network, NY -
In Thailand, People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protestors have occupied government buildings since August 26, with a state of emergency declared in …

35 NLD members march to detained party leader’s residence
Mizzima.com, India -
At least 35 members of Burma’s Opposition party the National League for Democracy have begun marching towards detained party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’, …

No progress in Burma, says group
BBC News, UK -
Repression in Burma has increased since the ruling military government crushed pro-democracy protests a year ago, says the US-based Human Rights Watch group …

Police on streets for anniversary of brutal crackdown
First Post, UK -
The date September 26 has entered Burma’s calendar of events commemorating the current regime’s 20-year iron rule – beginning with the September 1988 mass …

EU-India: Time to move from style to substance
New Europe, Belgium -
… its global responsibilities and should stand up more forcefully against violations of democracy and human rights in countries like Burma and Zimbabwe . …

Tight security prevents repeat of Myanmar protests: opposition
AFP -
The NLD, led by detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. Myanmar has been run by the military …

Suu Kyi’s party asked to retract statement
Peninsula On-line, Qatar -
yangon • Myanmar’s police chief held his first meeting with leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party yesterday, asking them to retract their call …

Undercover: Peter Cave interviews a student leader (ABC)
ABC Online, Australia -
In addition, I needed an interview with an official of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. It was a tall order but within an hour it had all …

Rights group says Myanmar repression continues year after crackdown
AFP -
Rather than let Burma’s rulers continue to engage in fruitless dialogue, the international community should demand real action,” she said in a statement. …

Burma’s unfinished revolution
Boston Globe, United States -
… have called for “true democracy” in Burma, appealing for the release of their sister laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and expressing solidarity with all people …

Burma’s Bluff
Wall Street Journal -
Burma’s state media reported 9002 prisoners were released this week as part of the junta’s plan for a “peaceful modern discipline-flourishing democratic …

In Myanmar, cyclone continues to take a toll
Los Angeles Times, CA -
… said Shin Imai, who runs the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s operations in Myanmar, which also is known as Burma. …

Myanmar: Junta Threatens Action Against Opposition
Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia -
YANGON, MYANMAR: Myanmar’s military government has threatened the party of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi with legal action unless it …

Assam] Support Burma’s Monks From Your Home
AssamNet, India -
The petition asks Ban Ki-moon to make freeing Burma’s 2130 political prisoners a top priority. Yesterday the regime released 9000 prisoners; however, …

A year has passed since popular protests against Burma’s ruling junta filled the streets of Rangoon. A military crackdown finally brought the demonstrations …

Rampaging rats bring starvation to Burma
BBC News, UK -

Local human rights groups say of an estimated 500000 population, 100000 people are at crisis point. They blame a natural phenomenon, which occurs every 50 …

Generals still rule Myanmar with firm grip
International Herald Tribune, France -
The generals’ domination in Myanmar, formerly Burma, has been tested repeatedly over the past two decades — by the monks last September, by Daw Aung San Suu …

Tradition and technology
Times Online, UK -
While democracy activists and Buddhist monks marched in their hundreds of thousands against Burma’s military regime, it was the country’s internet …

In tiny acts of defiance, a revolution still fickers
Times Online, UK -

… general election in 1990, won by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the intervening years under house arrest.

Junta’s election road map: political amnesty
Bangkok Post, Thailand -
… weekly Myanmar Times reported. Amnesty International estimates there are still more than 2100 political prisoners languishing in Burma’s jails. …

Burma: One Year After Violent Crackdown, Repression Continues
Human Rights Watch (press release) -
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, made a report after his November 2007 visit, but acknowledged it …

Myanmar’s Release Of Long-Serving Detainee ‘Positive’ Step, Says …
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand -
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has hailed Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin, a writer and former …

Starving in Burma
BBC News, UK -

One of Burma’s smallest ethnic minorities, the Mara, say hundreds of their people have starved to death. Local human rights groups believe food shortages …

Myanmar’s Release Of Long-Serving Detainee ‘Positive’ Step, Says …
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand -
… vice-chair of Myanmar’s Writers’ Association and a founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD), whose leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house …

S Korean court says Myanmar refugees can stay
Daily Times, Pakistan -
SEOUL: South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that eight men from Myanmar should be granted refugee status since they were likely to face political …

Six hurt as blast rocks Myanmar
The National, United Arab Emirates -
“What happened then has changed Myanmar for ever – the screams of the monks being beaten is indelibly marked in the hearts of all true Burmese,” he said, …

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In Picture: Junta’s crackdown during the Saffron Revolution in 2007

Rangoon Bomb Blast (25-9-2008)

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Photo – Nicknayman, AljaeeraMizzima, AFP and IHT.

Rangoon Bomb Blast

Explosion in Myanmar on Anniversary of Crackdown New York Times, United States -

Bomb blast in Rangoon amidst tight security Independent Mon News Agency, WA

Blast in Burma’s Rangoon Injures Three – Kyodo RedOrbit, TX -

Burma: Deadly bomb attack in Rangoon on protest anniversary آكي, Italy -

Myanmar explosion injures seven United Press International -

Bomb blast in Yangon injures seven (Roundup) Monsters and Critics.com -

Bomb goes off in Rangoon Turkmenistan News, Turkmenistan -

MOST E-MAILED RTT News, NY -

Bomb explodes in Burma on anniversary of government crackdown Times Online, UK -

Six injured in Myanmar bomb blast: police AFP -

Yangon blast wounds 4 as protest anniversary looms Reuters UK, UK -

Yangon bomb wounds 4 as protest anniversary looms Boston Globe, United States -

Bomb blast in Rangoon injures seven Bangkok Post, Thailand -

Explosion hits Rangoon on anniversary of protests InTheNews.co.uk, UK -

Yangon bomb wounds 4 as protest anniversary looms Swissinfo, Switzerland -

Blast rattles Yangon on anniversary eve CNN International -

Small explosion hits Burma’s capital Radio Australia, Australia -

Explosion hits Myanmar city GulfNews, United Arab Emirates

6 hurt in Myanmar bomb blast–police Inquirer.net, Philippines -

Blast rocks central Yangon Aljazeera.net, Qatar -

Blast injures three in Yangon: police The News International, Pakistan -

Blast in central Yangon, one injured – witnesses Reuters India, India -

Bomb Blast in Rangoon Park Injures Three The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

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ဧရာဝတီ- အင္တာနက္ မဂၢဇင္း

ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕လယ္ ဗံုးကြဲၿပီးေနာက္ လံုၿခံဳေရး ထပ္မံတင္းက်ပ္

ေအးခ်မ္းေျမ့ | စက္တင္ဘာ ၂၅၊ ၂၀၀၈
လက္ရွိရန္ကုန္တြင္ လံုၿခံဳေရးအေနျဖင့္ ရဲ တပ္ဖြဲ႕ဝင္ ၇၀၀၀ ေက်ာ္ကို ေနရာ အႏွံ႔ ခ်ထားၿပီး အေဝးေျပးကားဂိတ္ မ်ားတြင္ ရွာေဖြေရးမ်ား တင္းက်ပ္စြာ ျပဳလုပ္လွ်က္ ရွိသည္ဟု ရဲ ဝန္ထမ္း တဦးကေျပာသည္။ ထို႔ျပင္ ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕ ထဲတြင္လည္း ကားလမ္းမ်ားကိုပိတ္ ကာ ရွာေဖြေရးမ်ား … အျပည့္အစံုသို႔

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ေခတ္ၿပိဳင္ – ဂ်ာနယ္

ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕လယ္ ဗုံးေပါက္ကြဲမႈျဖစ္ပြား၊ လူအခ်ဳိ႕ဒဏ္ရာရ

NEJ/ ၂၅ စက္တင္ဘာ ၂၀၀၈။        ။ ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕ ၿမိဳ႕ေတာ္ခန္းမေရွ႕ မဟာဗႏၶဳလပန္းၿခံအတြင္း ယေန႔နံနက္ (၁၀) နာရီ (၄၅) မိနစ္ခန္႔က ေပါက္ကြဲမႈတခုျဖစ္ပြားၿပီး အနည္းဆံုး လူ (၃) ဦးခန္႔ ဒဏ္ရာရရွိခဲ့သည္ဟု မ်က္ျမင္သက္ေသမ်ားက ေျပာသည္။ ဗုံးေပါက္ကြဲမႈႏွင့္ …
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ဗံုးေၾကာင့္ လူ ၄ ဦး ဒဏ္ရာရ၍ ေဆး႐ံုေရာက္လာဟု အေရးေပၚ လူနာဌာနေျပာ

မဇၩိမသတင္းဌာန

ၾကာသပေတးေန႔၊ စက္တင္ဘာလ 25 2008 16:43 – ျမန္မာစံေတာ္ခ်ိန္

ခ်င္းမုိင္။     ။ ရန္ကုန္ျမိဳ႕ ျမိဳ႕ေတာ္ခန္းမေရွ႕ မဟာဗႏၶဳလ ပန္းျခံအနီး ၾကာသပေတး နံနက္က ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့ေသာ ဗံုးေပါက္ကြဲမႈတြင္ လူအေသအေပ်ာက္မရွိပဲ လူ ၄ ဦးဒဏ္ရာ ရရွိသြားသည္ဟု ရန္ကုန္ေဆး႐ံုၾကီး အေရးေပၚျပင္ပလူနာဌာနမွ အေျပာအရ သိရသည္။

ၾကာသာပေတးေန့နံနက္ ၁၀း၄၀ က လူစည္ကားရာ ျမိဳ့လယ္ေခါင္ဘတ္စ္ကားမွတ္တုိင္တြင္  ဗံုးတလံုးေပါက္ကြဲျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။

“ေသတာေတာ့ မရွိဘူး။ ဒဏ္ရာရတာ အားလံုးေပါင္း ၄ ေယာက္ပဲ၊ နာမည္ေတြေတာ့ မသိဘူး” ဟု ေဆးရံုၾကီးမွ တာ၀န္က် ၀န္ထမ္းတဦးက မဇၩိမကို ေျပာျပသည္။ သို႔ေသာ္ ေျဖဆိုခြင့္မရွိသျဖင့္ အေသးစိတ္ေျဖၾကားရန္ ျငင္းဆန္…..

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm

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