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Archive for March 8th, 2008

It’s official: Suu Kyi banned

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Bangkok Post, 8 March 2008

It’s official: Suu Kyi banned

Rangoon – United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Saturday, after the military junta make it clear they would not allow her to contest polls scheduled for 2010.

Gambari arrived on Thursday on a mission to persuade the ruling regime to include Suu Kyi more in the reconciliation process.

He conferred with members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which Suu Kyi heads, at the Sein Le Kan Tha State Guest House Saturday morning, and later with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the same venue.

The contents of the talks were not immediately known, but Burmese leaders had earlier made clear to Gambari that they will not allow Suu Kyi to contest a general election planned in 2010 – allegedly because she was once married to a foreigner, a gigantic no-no in the eyes of the dictators.

The NLD, led by Suu Kyi, won the 1990 polls but has been denied power for the past 18 years.

According to state media reports, Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan told Gambari on Friday that it had rejected a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the regime amend the new constitution to “ensure inclusiveness.”

“The constitution has already been drafted and it should not be amended again,” Kyaw Hsan said.

In a letter dated February 19 to Burma‘s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the UN Secretary General called for an amendment to the current draft constitution that would drop a clause excluding all Burmese nationals married to foreigners from running for election.

Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest since May 2003, was married to the late Michael Aris, a British professor at Oxford University.

The new constitution, drafted by a military-appointed forum, will be voted on in a referendum in May.

It is widely expected that the constitution will be approved by the referendum, especially since almost everyone in Burma expects manipulation by the regime.

The referendum is part of the dictatorship’s so-called “seven-step road map” to democracy, which will culminate in a general election now scheduled in 2010.

Critics have faulted the constitution-drafting process for failing to include input from the NLD and other opponents to the regime, leading the UN to call the document a “sham.”

Kyaw Hsan accused the UN of being biased against the regime, which last September cracked down on anti-military protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 31 people dead.

The information minister noted that the world community has not objected to Thailand‘s new constitution, passed last year, despite the lack of participation by Thai opposition parties in the drafting process. He pointed out that al-Qaeda was not allowed to take part in drafting the Iraq or Afghanistan constitutions.

“We haven’t heard any objection to these events by those persons and organisations who are objecting to us,” Kyaw Hsan said. “It is not fair. The United Nations should stand fair and square without bias.”

He also criticised Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, for rejecting the regime’s request that she openly oppose Western sanctions on Burma as a precondition for holding talks with her.

“Although we have opened the door for (a) ‘win-win’ situation, (the) NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are refusing to join hands,” Kyaw Hsan said.

He urged the visiting envoy to support the junta’s “seven step” road map and stop pursuing alternatives suggested by western democracies.

“We shall not accept any attempt to hinder or reverse the process of the seven-step road map. However, we will heartily welcome the positive suggestions of the UN to help implement the seven-step road map,” Kyaw Hsan concluded.

Gambari reportedly promised to pass on the minister’s “clarification” to the UN Secretary General. (dpa)

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Earlier report

Rangoon – The Burmese junta informed visiting United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari they will not amend a draft constitution to allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to contest the planned 2010 polls. On Saturday, Mr Gambari met Mrs Suu Kyi, without result.

Reports from official media on Saturday said the the military regime turned down a request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that the regime amend the new constitution to “ensure inclusiveness.”

Information Minister Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan gave Gambari a long lecture on Friday, which was printed in all state-controlled media.

“The Constitution has already been drafted and it should not be amended again,” Kyaw Hsan said.

Gambari met with the Nobel peace prize laureate and other executives in her National League for Democracy (NLD) party at the Sein Le Kan Tha State Guest House for about 90 minutes.

The content of their discussion was not immediately known, but it did nothing to change the minds of the military dictators and allow her to contest a general election planned in 2010.

In a letter dated February 19 to Burma’s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the UN secretary general called for an amendment to the current draft constitution that would drop a clause excluding all Burmese nationals married to foreigners from running for election.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize laureate who has been under house arrest since May, 2003, was married to the late Michael Aris, a British professor at Oxford University.

The new constitution, drafted by a military-appointed forum, will be voted on in a referendum in May, this year.

It is widely expected that the constitution will be approved by the referendum, which is expected to be manipulated.

The referendum is part of the regime’s so-called “seven-step road map” to democracy that will culminate in a general election now scheduled in 2010.

Critics have faulted the constitution-drafting process for failing to include input from the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Suu Kyi and other opponents to the regime, leading the UN to call the document a “sham.”

Kyaw Hsan faulted the UN for being biased against the regime, which only last September cracked down on anti-military protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 31 people led.

The information minister noted that the world community has not objected to Thailand‘s new constitution, passed last year, despite the lack of participation by Thai opposition parties in the drafting process, nor the recent constitutions passed in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the lack of participation by their opponents, including Moslem militants with al-Qaeda links and the Taliban, respectively.

“We haven’t heard any objection to these events by those persons and organisations who are objecting to us,” said Kyaw Hsan. “It is not fair. The United Nations should stand fair and square without bias.

He also criticised Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, for turning down the regime’s request that she openly oppose western sanctions on Burma as a precondition for holding talks with her.

“Although we have opened the door for ‘win-win’ situation, NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are refusing to join hands,” Kyaw Hsan said.

He urged the visiting envoy to support the junta’s “seven step” road map and stop pursuing alternatives suggested by western democracies.

“We shall not accept any attempt to hinder or reverse the process of the seven-step Road Map. However, we will heartily welcome the positive suggestions of the UN to help implement the seven-step Road Map,” Kyaw Hsan concluded.

Gambari reportedly promised to onpass the minister’s “clarification” to the UN the Secretary-General.

Gambari, who arrived in Rangoon on Thursday, was scheduled to meet with NLD members Saturday morning. It is anticipated that he will soon hold talks with Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest in her Rangoon home for almost four years. (dpa)

http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=126382

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm

World Focus on Burma (8 Mar 08)

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Myanmar rejects UN foreign monitors
Radio NetherlandsNetherlands –
The plan has been proposed by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is in the former Burma. The electoral commission says the referendum is an internal affair.

 

UN envoy meets with Suu Kyi
United Press International –
Gambari, who is in the country formally called Burma to mediate a conflict between the military government and opposition, had previously met with members

 

Myanmar’s junta rejects UN suggestion of independent observers for
Charleston Gazette, WV –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar‘s military government has rejected a UN suggestion that it allow independent observers to monitor the upcoming national

 

UN’s Myanmar envoy meets with pro-democracy leader
UN News Centre –

8 March 2008 – The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Myanmar met today in Yangon with detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of

 

Myanmar will not budge on poll rule
MWC News, Canada –

By Agencies Myanmar has laid out its reasons for not reforming election plans, while accusing a UN envoy of bias towards the detained politician Aung San

 

Malaysian Poll Closes []
RTT News, NY –
3/8/2008 7:07:45 AM Saturday, Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is currently in the country to mediate

 

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi meets UN envoy
Washington Post, United States –
In comments reported in Saturday’s official newspapers in the former Burma, Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, a brigadier general, struck an uncompromising

 

Burma’s Opposition Leader Suu Kyi Talks To UN Special Envoy
AHN –
Yangon, Myanmar (AHN) – The United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with Myanmar‘s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and opposition party

 

The UN Special Envoy meets Aung San Suu Kyi
Mister Info, Hong Kong –
The leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), who has spent 12 of 18 years under arrest, had been taken by car from her residence, to where lived

 

Burmese Democracy Leader Meets with UN Envoy
Voice of America –
Gambari is in Burma on a mission to persuade the military government to hold direct negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi, and allow her NLD party to

 

UN envoy in Burma talks
TeleTextUK –
The UN special envoy to promote political reconciliation in Burma has met Aung San Suu Kyi, a day after being rebuffed by the country’s rulers.

 

Benevolent Foreign Intervention (By: Gomin Dayasri)
Ministry of Defence (press release), Sri Lanka –
Invariably, interventionists concentrate on their selected target states such as Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Serbia, Sudan and Syria, ignoring Saudi

 

United Nations envoy meets held Burmese opposition leader
InTheNews.co.ukUK –
UK and international, secured credit, guaranteed issue Cards. Bankrupts accepted. No credit checks. Multiple cardholders OK. 0.0% APR. Cards in 5 days.

 

Aung San Suu Kyi meets UN envoy: official
AFP –

YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Saturday with visiting UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, one day after the nation’s junta

Aung San Suu Kyi ‘meeting envoy’
BBC News, UK –

Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has left her house for a meeting with a visiting UN envoy, report say. Ms Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest,

UN Myanmar Envoy Meets Suu Kyi
The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The UN special envoy to promote political reconciliation in Myanmar met Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition party members Saturday,

Burma’s Suu Kyi ‘taken from home’
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –
Burma officials could not immediately confirm that she would meet with Gambari, who earlier held talks with top officials from her National League for

UN envoy meets with Myanmar democracy leaders
AFP –
YANGON (AFP) — UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Saturday with senior leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party, after Myanmar‘s ruling junta refused to

Weekly Business Roundup (March 08, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The junta has approved the opening of Singapore dollar currency accounts at the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and Myanma [Burma] Investment and Commercial Bank

It’s official: Suu Kyi banned
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
In a letter dated February 19 to Burma’s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the UN secretary general called for an amendment to the current draft

Myanmar junta refuses to amend charter barring Suu Kyi from polls
AFP –
If held, the planned polls would be the first in the country formerly known as Burma since Aung San Suu Kyi led her National League for Democracy (NLD) to a

English as a second language
News 10 Now, NY –

SYRACUSE, NY — Teachers at HW Smith School say students are doing well, but the school “needs improvement” based on statewide exams.

Myanmar Rejects Reform Calls From UN
Guardian, UK
AP foreign YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar‘s military government rejected UN suggestions for political reform Friday in a meeting with a visiting special ..

 

UN Rejects Burma’s Slap at Special Envoy
Radio Free Asia, DC –
WASHINGTON—A senior United Nations official has rejected charges by Burma’s military government that the UN special envoy for Burma is biased against the

Burma’s referendum will stir civil unrest
United Press International, Asia, China –
“I think we all want to see Myanmar begin to improve its dialogue with its opposition, especially with the release of political prisoners including Aung San

Spain calls off election campaign after attack blamed on ETA
Tolerance.ca, Canada
By Denholm Barnetson MADRID – A former councillor from Spain‘s ruling Socialist Party was shot and killed in the northern Basque region on Friday,

Myanmar refuses to amend constitution draft, sticks to seven-step
Xinhua, China
YANGON, March 7 (Xinhua) — Myanmar‘s completed constitution draft could not be amended and the government is committed to its seven-step roadmap to

Myanmar says draft constitution not to be amended
Thaindian.com, Thailand –
Yangon, March 7 (Xinhua) Myanmar Friday told the visiting UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari that the draft constitution will not be amended and the

Gambari to meet NLD leaders tomorrow
Mizzima.com, India –
United Nations Special Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari is scheduled to meet tomorrow with a handful of leaders from Burma’s main opposition party,

Myanmar accuses UN envoy of ‘bias’
Times of India, India –
YANGON: Myanmar’s ruling junta on Friday accused visiting UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari of showing “bias” in favour of detained democracy leader Aug San Suu Kyi,

Myanmar refuses to amend charter barring Suu Kyi from polls
Raw Story, MA –
Myanmar‘s ruling junta refused to amend its proposed constitution, which bars democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running in elections, the information

 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm

UN envoy meets Suu Ky in Rangoon

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Bangkok Post, 7 March 2008

UN envoy meets Suu Ky in Rangoon

Rangoon (dpa) – United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Friday held talks on the Burmese junta’s plans for a referendum that will enshrine the dominance of the military in the country’s politics.

Gambari, who arrived Thursday on a mission to persuade the military to open a political dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has thus far held talks with Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win and Aung Toe, chairman of the Commission for Holding Referendum for the Approval of the Draft Constitution, sources said.

On Friday afternoon Suu Kyi was allowed to leave her lakeside residence in Rangoon, where she has been under house arrest since May, 2003, to meet with Gambari at a state guest house where he is staying.

He was also scheduled to meet with other members of National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, headed by Suu Kyi.

It was Gambari’s second visit to the isolated, military-run state since last September’s brutal army crackdown on protests in the streets of Rangoon that left at least 31 people dead.

Gambari has been tasked to persuade the ruling junta to open a political dialogue with Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi and with other representatives of Burmese society, to forge a national reconciliation process acceptable to the international community.

His efforts, however, have been pre-empted by military supremo Senior General Than Shwe’s announcement last month that he will hold a referendum on a new constitution in May this year, to be followed by a general election in 2010, according to analysts.

The two steps are part of the junta’s so-called “road map” to democracy, a long and winding path that has already taken 14 years just to draft a new constitution.

The new constitution, drawn up by a military-appointed body, will enshrine the military’s lead political role in any future elected government.

A general election, now scheduled at an unknown date in 2010, would put an end once and for all to the legitimate claims to power by Suu Kyi and the NLD that won the 1990 general election by a landslide.

It is anticipated that Suu Kyi, who has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest, will be ineligible for the 2010 election because the new constitution bars anyone married to a foreigner from running for public office.

Suu Kyi was married to the late Michael Aris, a history professor at Oxford University.

Western democracies such as the US and the European Union are still pressuring the military to include Suu Kyi in the national reconciliation process.

Since 1962, Burma has been ruled by a military regime that has earned itself one of the world’s worst human rights records after two brutal crackdowns on pro-democracy movements in 1988 and in September of last year. It has arrested thousands of political dissidents including Suu Kyi.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=126374

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 8, 2008 at 11:57 am