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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for November 20th, 2008

Burmese Child Soldier Returns Home

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Radio Free Asia

Burmese Child Soldier Returns Home

2008-11-20

Burma’s powerful military returns a child soldier to his family.

BANGKOK—Burmese authorities have returned a child soldier to his family five months after recruiting him in violation of its own policy and United Nations conventions, according to the boy and his mother.

Fifteen-year-old Ye Lin Htet was returned to his family on Nov. 12, after the International Labor Organization (ILO) aided his mother in producing documents that proved the boy was too young to enlist as a soldier.

“We went around looking for him, and I…found out that he was taken away on a 2 a.m. train to Pa-an. I contacted the ILO. The ILO helped me by asking for the required documents, and it didn’t take long,” Myint Kyway said in an interview.

“The township officers and chairmen were called, and they took our pictures. We had to sign when we were given the army discharge certificate,” she said.

Human rights groups and the United Nations have repeatedly cited Burma as possibly having the largest number of child soldiers in the world. Thousands are swept up in recruitment drives by the ruling junta, and many are serving in armed ethnic insurgencies.

Pressure to keep quiet

A community member and activist who assisted Myint Kyway in reporting her son’s situation to the ILO said authorities pressured her to keep quiet.

“People in civilian clothes arrived and said they were from the health department. They asked if it was Ye Lin Htet’s house and asked for his documents so we gave them. After that, the Hlaing Thaya township chairman sent us a letter, summoning us and threatening us so that we would not report [the authorities] to these organizations,” the activist said.

“He said that if children are missing, we’re to go and tell him. He would make sure that they are set free within two weeks. If he could not get the child out, then we could report it to anyone we want,” the activist said.

‘I was angry’

Ye Lin Htet said he was taken from the Rangoon general train station in July by Corporal Khin Maung Sint, along with three other children, and put on a train to Pa-an.

From Pa-an, the group was taken to Thaton and placed in a basic military training camp.

“They said, ‘Come along if you want to join the army’ and took us away. I went because I was angry at my family,” Ye Lin Htet said.

In October, the boy’s mother described to RFA’s Burmese service how she had learned of her son’s recruitment. She ultimately met with Corporal Khin Maung Sint, she said, adding, “he admitted that he had taken my son…”

Myint Kyway visited her son in Thaton, accompanied by three soldiers. When she asked him to come home, he declined, he said.

“Afterwards, I noticed that he looked as if he was afraid of something. And in front of the child, the soldiers said that if he ran away, he should know what happens to those who ran away, how they get beaten, and that he has seen them himself. The child looked really scared, and tears started to fall from his eyes. I had to leave crying, after that.”

Health Ministry officials subsequently came to her home to ask for proof of her son’s age, she said.

Huge problem

According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, the Burmese regime may have the largest number of child soldiers in the world—with thousands swept up in massive recruitment drives.

Some are as young as 10, Human Rights Watch says, their enlistment papers routinely falsified to indicate their ages as 18 or older.

The United Nations Secretary General has cited Burma six times since 2002 in reports to the Security Council as among the world’s worst perpetrators of child recruitment.

In its most recent report on human rights practices around the world, the U.S. State Department noted that the U.N. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict had found evidence that “both the government army and several armed insurgent and cease-fire groups, including the United Wa State Army, Kachin Independence Army, Karenni National People’s Liberation Front, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, Shan State Army-South, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and Karen National Union Peace Council, recruited child soldiers.”

The envoy reported that pressure to recruit for the junta had resulted in street children being lured into the army with promised of food and shelter. Brokers received up to U.S. $32 per recruit, while others were reportedly detained by police and offered the choice of joining the army or going to jail.

Original reporting by RFA’s Burmese service. Translated by Than Than Win. Burmese service director: Nancy Shwe. Executive producer: Susan Lavery. Written and produced in English by Joshua Lipes and Sarah Jackson-Han.

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/burma/soldier-11202008120324.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 20, 2008 at 5:58 pm

UN experts call for retrial of Myanmar activists

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UN experts call for retrial of Myanmar activists
Andrew Morgan at 5:18 PM ET

Photo source or description

[JURIST] A panel of UN experts on Wednesday urged [press release] authorities in Myanmar [JURIST archive; BBC backgrounder] to retry political and religious prisoners. The group, including Special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana [official website], called for fair and open trials [Reuters report] for dozens of activists convicted [JURIST report] in judicial proceedings inside Yangyon’s Insein Prison [BBC backgrounder]. The panel considered such a process to be part of general reforms necessary for moving toward multi-party democratic government, including:

a comprehensive review of national legislation to ensure its compliance with international human rights standards, the release of political prisoners of conscience, and reform of the armed forces and the judicial system.

They also urged Myanmar to release lawyers who were jailed for contempt of court after making public their clients’ complaints about the proceedings.

Last week, dozens of activists from 88 Generation Students [BBC backgrounder], including Min Ko Naing [advocacy website], Ko Ko Gyi, and Ktay Kywe, were sentenced to 65 years in prison for their participation in pro-democracy demonstrations last year. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] also voiced concern about the lengthy and severe prison terms, calling for the military junta to release [JURIST report] democracy activists and other political prisoners. Despite the September release [JURIST report] of more than 9,000 political prisoners, human rights groups estimate that more than 2,100 Burmese remain imprisoned for their religious and political beliefs.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/11/un-experts-call-for-retrial-of-myanmar.php

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Uzbek Human Rights Defender in prison wins 2008 Martin Ennals Award

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PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release
Geneva, 15 May 2008

Uzbek Human Rights Defender in prison wins 2008 Martin Ennals Award

Mutabar Tadjibaeva
Finally in Geneva, full of hope

Photo © Fondation Martin Ennals

Today the Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders announces as 2008 Laureate:

Mrs. Mutabar Tadjibaeva from Uzbekistan was arrested after having criticized the government’s handling of the massacre in Andijan, three years ago in May 2005. On 7 March 2006 she was sentenced to eight year imprisonment on 17 different charges – including “slander” and “membership of an illegal organisation”. In 2006, she was transferred to a psychiatric detention centre and forced to undergo medical treatment. Her health condition is deteriorating due to detention conditions; she is in an extremely precarious situation because of isolation and limited access to her lawyer and relatives. Her life is in danger; she may die in prison.

The tragedy of Andijan, where hundreds of people were killed, should not be forgotten. The Government of Uzbekistan has an historical opportunity to re-establish a dialogue with the international community by releasing Mutabar Tadjibaeva. Uzbekistan’s democratic future is not served by giving priority to political and economic agendas over human rights.

The Chairman of the Jury of the MEA, Hans Thoolen, describes the laureate as “an exceptionally brave woman in a country where standing up for human rights is a dangerous activity which can lead to imprisonment and death; where human rights defenders often have to choose between prison or exile.” He draws attention to the laureate’s principled stand to monitor abuses committed by governmental authorities. The ten organizations on the Jury of the Martin Ennals Award demand the immediate release of Mrs Tadjibaeva and the guarantee that she will be safe. The MEA calls on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to use its good offices for this purpose.

From letters written by Mrs Tadjibaeva in prison between August and November 2007 one can see the anguish and suffering: “….I do not want to be forgotten.”; “… They are afraid of my truth, so they torture me this way.”; “… I am holding out as much as I can.”

The Ceremony of the Martin Ennals Award will take place in Geneva on 20 November 2008.

MEA: the main award of the human rights movement. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, International Federation for Human Rights, World Organisation Against Torture, Front Line, International Commission of Jurists, German Diakonie, International Service for Human Rights and HURIDOCS. Previous laureates : Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Burundi and Rajan Hoole-Kopalasingham Sritharan, Sri Lanka (2007); Akbar Ganji, Iran and Arnold Tsunga, Zimbabwe; Aktham Naisse, Syria; Lida Yusupova, Russia; Alirio Uribe Muñoz, Colombia; Jacqueline Moudeina, Chad; Peace Brigades International; Immaculée Birhaheka, DR Congo; Natasha Kandic, Yugoslavia; Eyad El Sarraj, Palestine; Samuel Ruiz, Mexico; Clement Nwankwo, Nigeria; Asma Jahangir, Pakistan; Harry Wu, China.

Patrons of the Martin Ennals Award: Asma Jahangir, Barbara Hendricks, Jose Ramos-Horta, Adama Dieng, Leandro Despouy, Robert Fulghum, Theo van Boven and Werner Lottje†.

For further information, please contact: Luis Marreiros, Coordinator, +41228094925
marreiros@martinennalsaward.org or visit www.martinennalsaward.org

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 20, 2008 at 4:40 am

World focus on Burma (20 November 2008)

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More than 20 activists were sentenced in Burma on Thursday. A popular Burmese Hip-Hop singer Zay …

Biz Trends: Refugees find home, jobs here
ReporterNews.com, TX -
Refugees arrive from numerous countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iraq, Iran and Sudan. To date, the IRC has resettled …

Burmese Child Soldier Returns Home
自由亞洲電臺, Washington DC -
Human rights groups and the United Nations have repeatedly cited Burma as possibly having the largest number of child soldiers in the world. …

ASEAN for Economic Rescue
Prensa Latina, Cuba -
… are analyzing on Thursday in this capital an economic rescue for regional countries with financial problems composed of Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), …

Estonia Condemns Punishment of Democracy Supporters in Myanmar
ISRIA (subscription), DC -
The Estonian Foreign Ministry united with the European Union’s standpoint that condemns the decision of Myanmar’s (Burma’s) military regime to sentence more …

MYANMAR: Cyclone-hit monasteries in need
IRINnews.org, NY -
Monasteries play a pivotal role in Burmese society and frequently function as schools to thousands of underprivileged children. According to the Post-Nargis …

Charitable Donations Resist Credit Crunch
WebitPR (press release), UK -
… as part of a charitable campaign to support children and families devastated by the natural disasters in China and in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. ..

Burmese woman shares escape story
Prague Post, Czech Republic -

… borders in the trunk of a passenger car, Suizi Bawitlung and her family faced seemingly insurmountable odds when fleeing their native Burma, or Myanmar. ..

Burma: blogger and poet transferred to remote prisons
Reporters without borders (press release), France -
Sentenced to 20 years in prison by a special court in Insein prison on 10 November, Nay Phon Latt has been moved to a prison in Pa-an, the capital of the …

Illegal gambling website doesn’t pay off
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia -
He began his empire nearly 10 years ago in Burma, which borders Yunnan and where many Chinese go to bet in casinos as gambling is illegal in China. …

Military regime puts popular rapper behind bars
First Post, UK -
… the 88 Generation Students group, is now behind bars, including leader Min Ko Naing and the iconic former deputy of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Youth request junta for permission to meet Suu Kyi
Mizzima.com, India -
The youth also requested in their letter that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi be allowed to come to party headquarters to receive homage paid by these youths,” he said …

ASEAN members to join Army shoot meet in Tarlac
ABS CBN News, Philippines -
ASEAN-member countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Taiwan, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. …

I Live Here puts human face on oppression
Georgia Straight, Canada -
… where many Chechens have fled the ongoing violence in their own republic; Burma, which many have left for Thailand because of military oppression; …

Hip-hop singer Zeyar Thaw given 6 years
Mizzima.com, India -
GW released an anti-junta album, in cooperation with the clandestine band Freedom Fighter, in which ‘Rise up Burma’ and ‘No No No’, an anti-constitutional …

Unfriendly neighbors in Southeast Asia
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong -
An editor of the Bangkok Post raised this point when he exposed what Thai schools are teaching his daughter: “Like most Thais, she feels Burma is fierce and …

Sino-Burmese Pipeline Work to Begin Soon
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
“The long-awaited China-Myanmar [Burma] pipeline is expected to provide an alternative route for China’s crude imports from the Middle East and Africa and …

Refugee family still hasn’t made it to city
Owen Sound Sun Times, Canada -
Predominantly members of the Karen ethnic group, 810 refugees from Burma, now renamed Myanmar, have been accepted for resettlement in Canada. …

Economic crisis as a force for change
Mizzima.com, India -
By the harsh sentencing of activist leaders, essentially a life term behind bars, the military generals in Burma have mocked the world by openly brutalizing …

5 Generation Wave activists sentenced
Mizzima.com, India -
All are members of Generation Wave, which has been advocating for an uprising to topple the military junta in Burma.

Hip-Hop Performer among Latest Victims of Court Crackdown
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

The Burmese authorities transferred 15 of the sentenced prisoners, including the well-known activist Min Zaya and 1l other leading members of 88 Generation …

Experts examine role of ethics in medical research
Nigerian Tribune, Nigeria -
For example, the question of the violation of human rights in Thailand, Nepal and Burma. Also, being raised is the issue of the non-binding nature of some …

Sino-Burmese Pipeline Work to Begin Soon
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
“The long-awaited China-Myanmar [Burma] pipeline is expected to provide an alternative route for China’s crude imports from the Middle East and Africa and …

China revives Burma pipeline plan
BBC News, UK -

… market giant Petrochina, would manage and own a majority share in the joint project with Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise of Burma, the Japanese paper said. …

Standoff in the Bay of Bengal
ISN, Switzerland -
… Bangladesh deployed warships and land forces along its border with Burma (Myanmar) in early November over the latter’s bid to explore oil and gas in a …

For Bush, Asia Pacific Summit Will be More Than a Swan Song
CNSNews.com, VA -
Talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao will likely deal with North Korea, Iran, Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, as well as human rights and religious freedom in …

US President to Discuss Tibet with Hu Jintao
Tibetan Culture & News Online, UK -
In his talks with Hu, Bush also expects to discuss Iran’s suspect nuclear program, turmoil in Zimbabwe and Sudan, pressure on Burma’s military rulers to …

Burma Falls Off UN Agenda
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -

… Council at a time when the Burmese military junta has been indulging in one of the worst ever crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in the country. …

What happened to Mayateh Maranoh?
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong -
The section has attracted growing interest from human rights lawyers and the relatives of illegally detained and disappeared persons in Thailand. …

US President to Discuss Tibet with Hu Jintao
Tibetan Culture & News Online, UK -
Dharamshala: The United States President George W Bush will discuss human rights issues in Tibet and the ongoing discussions between the envoys of His …

Bye Bye Freedom
Malaysia Today, Malaysia -
(Remember Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) 3) UMNO need not be answerable to anyone other than the one who gives the most contracts. 4) Laws are immaterial. …

China’s Gruesome Organ Harvest
FrontPage magazine.com, CA -
Those without passports make their way through Burma on motorcycles and back roads. Some have been questioned by UN case workers, but few have been …

UN, Asean Must Speak Up
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
… statement expressing “deep concern” about the latest round of assaults on the dignity of Burma’s pro-democracy activists, while his Asean counterpart, …

What to do about Burma
Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong -
Without such a move from the US, Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Group of Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar’ will yield little. The most effective UN intervention …

A sea-route to North East soon!
Rediff, India -
Sittwe port on the Myanmar coast was not long ago a small village of fishing communities and farmers. Now, it could serve as a commercial sea-route to the …

NCGUB seeks ASEAN mobilization as human rights crackdown intensifies
Asian Tribune, Thailand -
… UN-backed Commission of Inquiry to investigate the military regime’s latest human rights violations. The call comes as Burma’s junta is intensifying its …

Nobel winners highlight education as tool for peace
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa -
In a joint statement, the Dalai Lama, former United States president Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, among others, …

Stop use of child soldiers: Rights group
Mizzima.com, India -
by Phanida Chiang Mai – Child soldiers continue to be used in armed conflicts in Burma, a rights group activists said. It called on the international …

A pernicious nexus Maoists, evangelists and jehadis
Organiser, India -
The goal of this organised nexus is to eliminate Hindus and Buddhists from political power from Fiji, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, …

Bush seeks APEC support for rescue plans
Ninemsn, Australia -
“The president will discuss issues of human rights and religious freedom, including the ongoing dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama” on the …

Myanmar court sentences student activists
CNN International -
A protester demonstrates in London to mark the the 20th anniversary of the Uprising in Burma, on August 8, 2008. Colleagues said Di Nyein Lin was one of …

Federation vows stricter monitoring of FOC vessels
ABS CBN News, Philippines -
FOC countries, according to ITF, include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Cayman Island, Comoros, Cyprus, …

SAUDI ARABIA BANS LAWYER FROM RECEIVING AWARD
IFEX, Canada -
I do not want the Burmese regime to find out. But I can tell you that these stories fill the pages of our reports and those of Human Rights Watch . …

Colombia and Guinea worst for unionists’ murders
OneWorld.net, UK -
Fourteen unionists were jailed in Morocco and seven in Burma, where the junta targeted union activists as part of its brutal crackdown on any moves for …

Fears grow over surge in trade union murders
guardian.co.uk, UK -
Fourteen unionists were jailed in Morocco and seven in Burma, where the junta targeted union activists as part of its crackdown on moves for democracy and …

CNPC to invest in Sino-Burma oil, gas pipeline
China Knowledge Online, Singapore -
CNPC will hold 50.9% stake in the project, while Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise will own the remaining. The Chinese oil producer will also be responsible to …

NCGUB seeks ASEAN mobilisation as human rights crackdown intensifies
Earthtimes (press release), UK -
The call comes as Burma’s junta is intensifying its campaign of detaining democracy supporters for lengthy sentences as a means of clearing the ground prior …

UN experts call for retrial of Myanmar activists
JURIST -
Despite the September release [JURIST report] of more than 9000 political prisoners, human rights groups estimate that more than 2100 Burmese remain …

Call for education to stop conflicts
The Press Association -
The Nobel Laureates, including former US President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, have issued their …

Press Briefing by Assistant to the President for International …
Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC -
And as the President has always done in all of his meetings with Chinese leaders, the President will discuss issues of human rights and religious freedom, …

Myanmar activist follows dad, grandfather to jail
The Associated Press -
Di Nyein Lin is a leader of the outlawed All Burma Federation of Students Union, to which several of the 88 Generation Students’ members belonged in 1988. …

Burma’s Jail News: Three Jailed Today
OpEdNews, PA -

Ko Kyaw San was given 4 years imprisonment. Burma Jail News is not closed yet. Question: How many activists in Burma will be jailed in this month?

Artistic Expressions Promote Human Rights
NewsBlaze, CA -
In Burma, comedian U Maung Thura (better known by his stage name, Zarganar, or “The Tweezers”) uses sly humor to mock his country’s ruling military junta …

Thailand heads back to the old days
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand -
It’s a disgrace that will turn Thailand into the new Burma. If there’s anything that represents pure treason, it is this. Thailand is finished. …

Ivanhoe likely to resume mining in December
Mizzima.com, India -
by Mizzima News Monywa (Mizzima) – Myanmar Ivanhoe is likely to resume its copper mining activities in Monywa next month following suspension of production …

UN experts condemn Burma trials
BBC News, UK -
The junta says the 2010 elections will be part of its “road map to democracy”. But opposition figures and governments, including the European Union, …

Writer Hnin Pan Ein flees to border
Mizzima.com, India -
… being frequently intimidated and harassed by authorities inside Burma. After her husband, Nay Oo, the South Dagon Township National League for Democracy …

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