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Archive for March 13th, 2008

Tibet Monk Protests

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China admits Tibet monk protests
BBC News –
Chinese officials have admitted that Buddhist monks have been protesting in the Tibetan city of Lhasa this week. Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the authorities had “stabilised” the situation.

Military, Police at Tibetan Monasteries The Associated Press
Voice of AmericaLos Angeles TimesAljazeera.netSydney Morning Herald
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Video: Tibetan activists condemn Beijing Olympics – 13 Mar 08

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 13, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Burma's Geopolitics

Tagged with , ,

(Thai) PM going to Burma, but human rights off agenda

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Banagkok Post,  13 March 2008 

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej will pay an official visit Burma Friday where he will avoid sensitive topics such as internal affairs, human rights and conflicts with minority groups, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Samak, who became Thailand‘s 25th prime minister on January 28, will depart for Naypyitaw, Myanmar‘s new military capital, on a special Thai Air Force flight from Bangkok‘s Don Muang Airport at 7:45 local time Friday, said government spokesman Lieutenant General Wichienchote Suchoterat.

He will meet with Burma‘s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe and hold talks with the junta about Thailand‘s business interests in natural gas and hydro-electric dams.

“He will not discuss Burma‘s internal affairs, human rights nor conflicts with minority groups although these issues may be raised at the upcoming ASEAN summit,” said Wichienchote.

Bangkok will host the annual summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) later this year.

While in Naypyitaw, which is situated 350 kilometres north of the old capital in Yangon, Samak will also witness the signing of an investment protection agreement between the two countries, a foreign ministry source said.

The agreement is designed to encourage more Thai investment in Myanmar and strengthen cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

Thailand currently ranks as Burma‘s third largest foreign investor, with investments reaching 1.34 billion dollars as of last year. The United Kingdom ranks first with 1.56 billion dollars worth of investments in Myanmar, while Singapore comes second with 1.43 billion, according to figures compiled by Thailand‘s Foreign Trade Department.

Thailand also ranks among Burma‘s leading trade partners.

In 2007, Thai imports from Burma (primarily natural gas), amounted to 80.03 billion baht (2.5 billion dollars), up 9.8 per cent on 2006 figures, while Thai exports to the country amounted to 33.06 billion baht (1.05 billion dollars), a 14.6 per cent rise.

Thailand‘s close economic ties with the regime are in stark contrast to those of most Western democracies, such as the US and the European Union, both of which have imposed new economic sanctions on the country in the wake of its brutal crackdown on anti-government protests led by Buddhist monks last September.

Such sanctions are deemed ineffective as long as Burma‘s main economic allies Thailand, India and China, refuse to follow suit. dpa

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=126483

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 13, 2008 at 4:14 pm

World Focus on Burma (13 Mar 08)

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Myanmar Security Tight for Anniversary
The Associated Press –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Authorities in military-ruled Myanmar stepped up security in the country’s biggest city Thursday on the anniversary of a police

 

United States and China: two-sided weakness over human rights
AsiaNews.itItaly –
All of this is taking place in Burma as well. And yet Myanmar is considered a “systemic” oppressor of rights, and appears on the list of the “top 10”;

 

Looking Back at Myanmar’s Political Struggles
Statesman, NY –
Htay Hlaing, a Burmese graduate student in physics at Stony Brook who left Myanmar in 2002, pointed out that the recent protests in Myanmar are similar to

 

Gold has grip on Myanmar – in more ways than one
Reuters –
Anger at 75-year-old Senior General Than Shwe is easy to grasp — he sits at the top of a military machine that has run the former Burma with a mixture of

 

Change in Burma?
Foreign Policy In Focus –
If these peoples are to live in a country called the “Union of Myanmar,” there must be a realistic recognition of their autonomous status and their right to

 

Stopping the Flow of Information
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Myanmar Info-Tech Corporation Ltd announced earlier this month a plan to compile and update a list of Internet cafés throughout Burma.

 

Trade, not democracy, focus of Thai trip to Myanmar
Reuters India, India –
“It is not on the agenda,” spokesman Wichianchot Sukchotrat told reporters who asked if Samak planned to discuss democratisation plans in the former Burma,

 

Authors on Asia: Pierre Odier
Pasadena Now, CA –
He will focus on the Wa people, a little-known group from the remote upland region of eastern Myanmar (Burma); their costumes, headdresses,

 

Human rights inside Burma continue their slide
Mizzima.comIndia –
The latest UN report accuses Burma‘s generals of being unwilling to confront a deteriorating human rights situation inside the country.

 

PM going to Burma, but human rights off agenda
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Samak, who became Thailand’s 25th prime minister on January 28, will depart for Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s new military capital, on a special Thai Air Force

MYANMAR PULLS OUT OF SA REGION, GC 26 May Endorse
Bosco Information Service, India –
By CM Paul Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia. It is the 40th-territorially

 

Chinese influx stirs hatred in Myanmar
Peninsula On-line, Qatar –
Even though the former Burma’s second city is one of the few places where the economy appears to be going somewhere, thanks mainly to Chinese capital and

 

Contractors want steel prices capped
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Local contractors yesterday called on the government to control steel prices and liberalise steel imports to help curb sharp price increases that may cause

 

Gambari leaves Burma empty-handed but undeterred
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
The UN’s special adviser to Burma Ibrahim Gambari left Rangoon empty-handed earlier this week. ”There has been no progress on any of the substantive issues

 

special article
The Statesman, India –
Persistent efforts by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari to encourage political change in Myanmar seem to have had some impact but the further outcome still remains

 

Day set for protest of Internet censorship
United Press International –
Other countries listed as cyberprisons are Myanmar, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. In addition to celebrating free

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Inquirer.netPhilippines –
It does not include, for instance, some of the most corrupt economies in the region, such as Burma (Myanmar) and North Korea. Thus, it is best to qualify

 

 

‘Web enemies’ targeted in cyber-protests
CNN –
As well as China, Cuba and North Korea, the list highlighted 12 other countries where Internet freedoms are restricted: Belarus, Myanmar, Egypt, Ethiopia,

 

 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm