Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for April 2008

Myanmar’s spoiled vote for democracy

leave a comment »

Southeast Asia, May 1, 2008

Myanmar‘s spoiled vote for democracy
By Larry Jagan

BANGKOK – On May 10, Myanmar holds a national referendum on a new constitution, a charter which very few of the military-run country’s citizens have actually seen and one which the media and commentators are barred from publicly criticizing in the run-up to the vote. If passed, the charter will move the country into a new political era, though one still firmly controlled by the military.

Myanmar‘s military rulers are leaving little to democratic chance, as they apply restrictions and processes to orchestrate a “yes” vote, which by most international standards will not be considered a free and fair referendum. To be sure, without opinion polls, public sentiment is hard to gauge in Myanmar‘s tightly controlled society.

The vote significantly represents the first time since 1990 general elections, which military-backed candidates resoundingly lost to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), that Myanmar‘s voters will go to the polls. The military famously annulled the 1990 election results and set in slow motion a 14-year process for drafting a new charter aimed at paving the way for new general elections.

There are competing interpretations of what the vote actually means. Some analysts believe both rural and urban voters, frustrated by the government’s severe mismanagement of the country, will overwhelmingly vote “no” as an expression of their discontent.

“They see it as a referendum on the military government; so expect a resounding ‘no’ from them,” said a Western aid worker in reference to rural voters in the country’s main central rice growing area. “It’s the first opportunity since the 1990 election that they have had to express themselves,” she said.

Others view it differently. “I’m going to vote ‘yes’ because I’m tired of the top brass running the country, and doing it very badly,” said a military colonel who wanted to remain anonymous due to concerns over his personal safety. “It’s time to get them out of government and a new constitution is the only sure way of doing that,” he added.

“You don’t need to read the constitution to know its simply conferring power on the military for eternity,” said an elderly Burmese academic who likewise wanted to remain anonymous. “The choice is simple – a vote in favor of adopting the constitution means we want the military to play the leading role in politics and run the county,” he said.

For its part, the military has repeatedly promised the referendum will be transparent, fair and systematic. Political opposition groups and diplomats, meanwhile, have expressed strong concerns that the results could easily be rigged in the military’s favor.

For instance, the regime has already said the results at each polling station will not be announced, even at a provincial level. The only announcement of the vote’s result will come from the military’s equivalent of an electoral commission in the new capital of Naypyidaw. “This is very different from the 1990 elections, when the election results were made public at each local polling station,” said Zin Linn, a former political prisoner and now spokesman for the Burmese government in exile. “It means they will be able to manipulate the results to their own ends.”

Adding to those concerns is the fact that the general public, not to mention the political opposition, will not be allowed to scrutinize the actual vote counting. A senior general recently told military and government officials in Yangon that only the last ten voters before the polls close would be allowed to stay and witness the actual count.

“These last 10 voters who can monitor the counting of the votes by the poll commission members will certainly be members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, who Than Shwe has given the job of running the referendum and getting the result he wants,” said Win Min, a Burmese academic at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand.

See no evil

Significantly, international election monitors have been banned from overseeing the vote and it is likely that only a few regime-friendly foreign journalists will be given visas to cover the referendum. Foreign monitoring is essential if the referendum is to have any international credibility, the former United Nations rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Pinheiro, told Asia Times Online in an exclusive interview.

“After decades without an election, at least international observers could verify the conditions of the vote,” said Pinheiro, who served in his UN capacity for seven years through April this year. “And the UN has a unit that just deals with elections, but the military government has refused their help.”

“I’ve been following political transitions throughout the world, including Asia for more than 30 years and I am yet to see a successful transition to democracy without a previous phase of liberalism,” he said. “There isn’t the faintest sign of that yet in the case of Myanmar.”

Indeed, state-run newspapers are predictably flush with statements endorsing the new constitution. “To approve the state constitution is a national duty of the entire people, let us all cast a ‘yes’ vote in the national interest.” Meanwhile the local media have been forbidden from reporting the “no” campaign, which has been perpetuated on the Internet and by political opposition groups.

The government has issued orders banning any criticism of the new constitution and violations are punishable with a possible ten-year jail sentence. Those who have dared to defy those orders have come under physical attack by pro-government thugs and at least twenty young NLD members have recently been arrested for wearing T-shirts that read “Vote No”.

The NLD has nonetheless launched a vigorous campaign in opposition to the constitution. “For the people who have the right to vote, we would like to encourage again all voters to go to the polling booths and make an ‘x’ [no] mark without fear,” the NLD urged voters in statement released to the press last week. It nonetheless portrayed the process as a sham. “An intimidating atmosphere for the people is created by physically assaulting some of the members of [the] NLD,” its statement read.

International observers endorse that assessment. “The whole process is surreal – to have a referendum where only those who are in favor of the constitution can campaign,” said Pinheiro in an interview. “A referendum without some basic freedoms – of assembly, political parties and free speech – is a farce. What the Myanmar government calls a process of democratization is in fact a process of consolidation of an authoritarian regime,” he said.

The new constitution took more than 14 years to draft, a tightly controlled process that excluded the NLD’s participation. The actual constitution was only revealed to the public a few weeks ago and is now on sale at 1,000 kyat per copy – the equivalent of US$1 in a country where more than eight out of 10 families live on less than $2 a day. Even then it’s nearly impossible to find copies, according to Western diplomats who in recent days have scoured the old capital of Yangon in search of the document.

Under the proposed constitution the president must hail from the military, while one-quarter of the parliamentary seats will be nominated by the army chief and key ministries under the military’s control, including the defense and interior portfolios. According to the charter’s text, the army also reserves the right to oust any civilian administration it deems to have jeopardized national security.

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, meanwhile, will be barred from politics under the charter because she was married to a foreigner, the eminent British academic and scholar of Tibet and Buddhism, Michael Aris, who died of prostate cancer in 1999. Nonetheless, the military is pitching the passage of the new charter as a step towards multi-party democracy, as laid out in the junta’s seven-stage roadmap to democracy.

The junta’s second in command, General Maung Aye, recently told a parade of new recruits that the constitution would pave the way for democracy. “Comrades, it is the Tatamadaw [military] that is constantly striving for the emergence of a constitution capable of shaping the multi-party democratic system,” he told the army recruits last week.

But even if the junta fixes the referendum’s results in its favor, it will face other major challenges in the run-up to general elections in 2010. That includes the formation of a transition government, which will entail the wholesale sacking of the current military cabinet, many of whom have entrenched business interests protected by their positions. It also in theory must allow new political parties to be formed and freely associate and campaign to contest the 2010 polls.

These steps will all likely be delayed substantially if there is a significant “no” vote at next week’s referendum. While the real vote count may never be made public, top military leaders will know whether or not voters support their envisaged transition to a form of military-led democracy. Depending on how the people vote, a negative result could cause Than Shwe and other top junta officials to yet again redraw their political reform roadmap.

Larry Jagan previously covered Myanmar politics for the British Broadcasting Corp. He is currently a freelance journalist based in Bangkok.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing .)

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 30, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , ,

World Focus on Burma (30 April 08)

leave a comment »

Myanmar / Burma: Musicians are being arrested
FreemuseDenmark –
“Two months after the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, arbitrary arrests continue unabated as part of the
Myanmar [Burma] government’s

LTTE’s global network suffers setback
IndiaPost.com, CA –
has its front organizations now operating from countries that also include India, Botswana, Burma, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,

Albania Press ‘Partly Free’
BalkanInsight.comSerbia –
The world’s worst-rated countries include
Myanmar (Burma), Cuba, Libya, North Korea, and Turkmenistan. In 2007, Eritrea joined the ranks of these

Weekly Business Roundup (April 30, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By WILLIAM BOOT Economic sanctions against Burma’s military government by the European Union were expanded when EU foreign ministers met this week.

Visiting junta PM’s destination off-limits to the media
Shan Herald Agency for News, Thailand –
by admin — last modified 2008-04-30 11:05 Maximum security has been “bestowed” to Prime Minister Thein Sein and his entourage, who are on a 3-day visit to

Thailand, Burma Wrap Up Business Deals
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein’s visit comes one month after Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej visited
Burma. Thein Sein is scheduled to return to

Myanmar says Aung San Suu Kyi to remain under detention – Thai PM
Hemscott, UK –
BANGKOK (Thomson Financial) – Myanmar will not release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said Wednesday after talks

Referendum, the Burmese junta imposes early and rigged voting
AsiaNews.it, Italy –
With the excuse that on May 10 a day of work will be lost, together with a day’s pay, soldiers are forcing village inhabitants to vote early and for the

Myanmar’s spoiled vote for democracy
Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –
By Larry Jagan BANGKOK – On May 10, Myanmar holds a national referendum on a new constitution, a charter which very few of the military-run country’s

Suu Kyi to be “kicked upstairs”: Samak
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be kicked upstairs to be above the politic when the junta-ruled country run the process to quasi-democracy,

Thai PM jokes that neighbor Myanmar’s draft constitution offers a
International Herald Tribune, France –
AP BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand’s prime minister joked Wednesday that neighboring Myanmar is striving to become a “50 percent democracy” because the ruling

Thailand, Myanmar sign gas production, anti-drug agreements
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –
BANGKOK, April 30 (TNA) — Thailand and its neighbour Myanmar Wednesday signed agreements on natural gas production in the Gulf of Mataban and on joint

Junta directs tour operators to monitor tourists
Mizzima.com, India –
The letter, a copy of which is with Mizzima, said, Burma is conducting a referendum to approve its draft constitution on May 10.

Shortages may drive Burmese refugees to seek work
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Sally Thompson, deputy director of Thailand’s Burma Border Consortium, an alliance of non-government organisations, said the consortium recently sent an

Visiting burma pm offered help
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday offered assistance for
Burma‘s coming constitutional referendum to his visiting counterpart Thein Sein,

Thai PM says Myanmar’s Suu Kyi detention is “OK”
International Herald Tribune, France –
After a meeting in
Bangkok with his counterpart from military-ruled Myanmar, Lieutenant-General Thein Sein, Samak said the former Burma‘s ruling generals

Burma Authorities Planning Internet Cut-Off – Agency
RedOrbitTX –

An official from the Myanmar [Burma] Communication Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Mizzima that the government is likely to divide …

EU urges international arms embargo on Myanmar
Reuters –

LUXEMBOURG, April 29 (Reuters) – The European Union called on Tuesday for an international arms embargo on Myanmar’s military junta and warned of tougher …

EU extends Myanmar sanctions for another year
ForbesNY –

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – The European Union on Tuesday extended its sanctions against the regime in Myanmar for another year, adding that the measures … 

Acquiring human rights abuse
CSR Asia, China –

… The Human Cost of Energy: Chevron’s Continuing Role in Financing Oppression and Profiting From Human Rights Abuses in Military-Ruled Burma (Myanmar), … 

EU Extends Burmese Sanctions, Calls for International Arms Embargo
Voice of America –

By VOA News The European Union has extended sanctions against Burma‘s military government and has called for an international arms embargo. … 

More anti-govt armed group members surrender in Myanmar
XinhuaChina –

The Ywet-Sit-led SSA-S and the ABSDF, along with two other anti-government organizations — the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) …

Thailand backs Myanmar constitution
Aljazeera.netQatar –
Thailand ‘s foreign minister has welcomed Myanmar ‘s upcoming referendum as a “step towards democracy” for the military-ruled country while hosting an …

EU extends sanctions on Burma
Thaindian.com, Thailand – … will intensify its close consultations with memebrs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members and other neighbours of Burma/Myanmar, …

US Oil Major Complicit in Abuses – Rights Lobby
RINF.COMUK –

The local partner was the Myanmar Gas and Oil Enterprise, an affiliate of Burma’s energy ministry. The mounting human rights violations at the time was … 

 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 30, 2008 at 7:15 am

EU renews sanctions against Myanmar

leave a comment »


Press Trust of India
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 (London)

.
The European Union has renewed political and economic sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar for another year, adding the measures could be increased.

The EU’s current sanctions against Myanmar were adopted last October following the brutal crackdown on Buddhist monks who took part in anti-regime protests.

The sanctions include a ban on the import of timber, gems and metals from Myanmar, a travel ban and assets freeze on Myanmar leaders and their relatives and an arms embargo.

The European Union Council of Foreign Ministers after a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday issued a statement calling on the international community ”to adopt similar measures”.

The EU ministers expressed deep concern at the situation in Myanmar and again urged the authorities to take rapid steps for transition to a legitimate, civilian government and for national reconciliation.

The EU, the statement said, will intensify its close consultations with ASEAN members and other neighbours of Myanmar, including those that are represented in the UN Security Council.

The Council said it remained convinced that only a process that involved the full participation of all stakeholders in the country, including Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic groups, will lead to national reconciliation and stability.

”Thus the Council believes the draft constitution, referendum and elections, as currently conceived, will not address the many problems facing Burma/Myanmar,” the statement added.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080048344&ch=4/30/2008%209:20:00%20AM

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 30, 2008 at 6:59 am

Junta clamps down on tourist visa journalists

leave a comment »

Junta clamps down on tourist visa journalists

Burma’s military junta is apparently preparing to seal the country off as popular anger against the regime and the constitutional referendum it plans to hold on May 10 grows visibly in Rangoon and other cities, writes Edward Loxton for The First Post.

Foreign journalists who covered the September demonstrations and their aftermath – this correspondent included – have crossed, and continue to cross, into Burma posing as tourists. But Burmese embassies are urgently trying to clamp down on the practice.

Several journalists have reported problems obtaining visas, as Burmese embassies scrutinise every application. Two Japanese citizens suspected of being journalists were denied entry at Rangoon airport today. (The Japanese video cameraman famously shot by a Burmese soldier at the height of the September demonstrations had entered on a tourist visa, the government claimed at the time.)

Even diplomats and UN personnel are being kept waiting for visas, while Ministry of Information officials comb carefully through their applications. “The regime is clearly getting very nervous as May 10 approaches and opposition to the referendum and the draft constitution increases,” said a European diplomat in Bangkok.

The junta has every reason to be nervous, according to Bangkok Post writer Larry Jagan, reporting on a wave of demonstrations across Burma at the weekend. In Rangoon, about 20 monks led demonstrators in a march on the city’s Shwedagon Pagoda, central focus of September’s demonstrations. Police herded them away from the site without incident.

Other demonstrations were reported in the major Andaman Sea port of Sittwe and some other towns. Jagan quoted a Burmese businessman as saying: “The country is a social volcano, ready to erupt. All it needs is a spark to ignite it.”

Jagan, a seasoned Burma commentator, reported major splits within the ruling junta. “Gen Than Shwe‘s immediate subordinate, Gen Maung Aye, is increasingly disaffected with his boss, feeling that he is allowing rampant corruption to bankrupt the country,” he wrote.

Last September, Maung Aye was widely reported to be unhappy with the brutal way the regime suppressed the demonstrators. At one point during the crisis, a division of crack troops awaited his order to rebel – but the order never came.

FIRST POSTED APRIL 29, 2008

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 30, 2008 at 2:56 am

Urgent Action – Leading Burmese Democracy Activist May Face Blindness

leave a comment »

b

Urgent Action – Leading Burmese Democracy Activist May Face Blindness

Dear friends

We are extremely concerned for the safety of leading democracy activist Min Ko Naing, who is being held in Rangoon¹s notorious Insein Prison. He is suffering from a serious eye infection and may go blind because he is being denied medical treatment. It is reported that his eye condition has deteriorated to the point that he is unable to sleep or eat because of the pain the infection has caused.

Min Ko Naing has been in prison since August last year. He was arrested for leading protests in Rangoon. The protests triggered the biggest demonstrations in Burma since the 1988 uprising, but were brutally crushed by the dictatorship. We will never know how many were killed during the regime¹s brutal crackdown. Today, the situation in Burma remains as severe as ever. Arrests continue and torture is routine. Political prisoners are singled out for brutal treatment, including the denial of medical treatment.

Min Ko Naing is a leading democracy activist and one of the most famous student leaders from the 1988 uprising. He was arrested in 1989 and spent more than 16 years in prison. He was severely tortured and held in solitary confinement for most of his sentence. He was released in 2004 and despite constant threats and harassment by the regime, he has continued to campaign for freedom and democracy in Burma.

Please take action now. Visit
<http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/mkn_action.html> and send an email to urge the Burmese authorities to allow immediate medical attention to Min Ko Naing and all political prisoners.

Thank you for your support.

Anna Roberts
The Burma Campaign UK

Source: email from anna.roberts@burmacampaign.org.uk

b

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 29, 2008 at 3:06 pm

World Focus on Burma (29 April 08)

leave a comment »

b
Killings alleged at Chevron’s Burma pipeline
San Francisco Chronicle, USA –
… real story from the villagers,” Simons said. Burma, also known as Myanmar, has a history of military dictatorship and suppression of democratic uprising.CVXATH:ASCO
b
Watchdog group says Chevron complicit in Myanmar
Reuters –
Myanmar was called Burma until 1989, and opposition groups and some countries have not recognized the name change. The country has been under military …CVX
b
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Voting is being held in Singapore as well as Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan ahead of a referendum on May 10, the first in Burma in 18 years. …
b
PRESS DIGEST – Singapore newspapers – April 29
Reuters –
Myanmar nationals living in Singapore have until Friday to vote on a new constitution drawn up by the former Burma’s military regime. …
b
Search South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com Web enhanced by
Sun-Sentinel.com, FL –
In November 1941 Rossi and his squadron landed in Burma (now called Myanmar). In December, over Kunming, China, the site of devastating attacks by the …
b
Burmese stay away from vote
Howrah News Service, India –
“[India has] failed to recognise the sentiment of the people of Burma,” Dr Swe said. The United States has dismissed the referendum as an attempt by the …
b
Burmese activists protest as embassy conducts polling
Mizzima.com, India –
By Mizzima News Chiang Mai – Burmese activists on Sunday staged a brief protest outside the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, exhorting voters to reject the ..
b
Rights group accuses Chevron of complicity in Myanmar abuses
AFP –
“Chevron has tried to distance itself from the Yadana project and Burma and tries to create an image that the abuses notorious during Unocal’s tenure are …
b
Ethnic Karen in Myanmar fight for survival
Monsters and Critics.com –
Kaw Poe Kee, Myanmar – Wah Wah Mu, 38, has dressed up her little daughter with a pink chiffon dress, a rare sight in this jungle region of Myanmar (Burma). …
b
Myanmar PM leaves for Thailand on official visit
Xinhua, China –
YANGON, April 29 (Xinhua) — Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein left the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw for Bangkok Tuesday afternoon to start an …
Gourmet Thai PM to cook for Myanmar guest AFP
Thailand leader to cook for Myanmar prime minister The Associated Press
Burmese PM Arrives in Thailand to Strengthen Business Ties The Irrawaddy News Magazine
Bangkok PostXinhua
all 69 news articles »

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 29, 2008 at 5:29 am

ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္နဲ႔ ဦးတင္ဦးတို႔ ဆႏၵခံယူပြဲမွာ မဲေပးခြင့္ရွိႏုိင္လို႔ စစ္အစုိးရ သတင္းရပ္ကြက္ကေျပာ

leave a comment »

U Tin Oo.AP

ေနအိမ္အက်ယ္ခ်ဳပ္ က်ခံေနရတဲ့ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္၊ ဦးတင္ဦး အပါအ၀င္ ထိန္းသိမ္းခံႏုိင္ငံေရးသမားေတြ၊ တက္ႂကြလႈပ္ရွားသူေတြကုိ ျမန္မာစစ္အစုိးရရဲ႕ လူထုဆႏၵခံယူပဲြမွာ မဲေပးခြင့္ျပဳမယ္လုိ႔ သတင္းေတြ ထြက္ေပၚလာေနပါတယ္။

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 28, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Suu Kyi’s Party Launches Vote ‘No’ Tour

leave a comment »

The Moustache Brothers urge voters to vote “No” with arms crossed in front of their chests.

Suu Kyi’s Party Launches Vote ‘No’ Tour



E-MAIL
PRINT

By WAI MOE

The Irrawaddy, Monday, April 28, 200

The National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Burma’s democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, is taking its vote “No” campaign across the county even as the regime is warning opposition forces to cease anti-referendum efforts.

Win Naing, a NLD spokesperson, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that leading members of the party were traveling to other cities to explain the party’s position on the constitution and the referendum.

“At the moment, we can campaign in at least five regions of the country—it is what we can do under the oppressive conditions created by the authorities,” he said.

“The NLD also plans to monitor the voting in the country as long as we can,” said Win Naing. “The party will also explain how to vote ‘No’ to the people of Burma through members in rural and urban areas. Our position is that people should vote against the unjust and undemocratic constitution in the referendum.”

Kyaw Hsan, the minister of information and a central secretary of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, traveled to Sagaing Division in northern Burma on April 21, the junta’s mouthpiece, Myanma Alin’s reported on Monday. He called on local people to vote “yes” in the referendum and vowed the constitution would guarantee stability, development and democracy.

Meanwhile in Rangoon, the largest city in Burma, security was tightened by authorities.
“There are police in civilian clothes and uniforms along with Swan Ah-shin at bus stops in Rangoon both in downtown areas and outside of downtown,” a student in Rangoon said. “Some of them were holding batons and some were holding guns.”

Rumors were circulating that the authorities would set up CCTV cameras at polling booths to allow them to determine who voted “Yes” or “No,” said a taxi driver in Rangoon. “So I am now thinking whether I should go to vote, because I don’t want to vote ‘Yes’ but I don’t want authorities to know how I voted.”

Sources said vote “No” campaigns by dissident groups could be found across the city. “I saw a group of students distributing vote ‘No’ leaflets in Tamwe Township,” said a shop owner.

One opposition group, The All Burma Federation of Student Union, released a statement on Monday supporting the vote “No” campaign and launched its own house-to-house, underground campaign across the country.

“There are more than 10 young organizations that are campaigning to vote against the constitution,” said Tun Myint Aung of the 88 Generation Students group.

“Activists will try to monitor voting on May 10,” he said. “Then everyone will know if the junta cheated and how they cheated.”

The well-known comedians, the Moustache Brothers, are conducting a vote “No” campaign in their nightly performances in Mandalay, the second largest city, using a visual gag of crossing their arms over their chests, a tourist told The Irrawaddy.

“The military junta is doing its utmost to encourage everyone to vote ‘Yes’ on May 10 and endorse the constitution,” says Par Par Lay, one of the Moustache Brothers. “But the Moustache Brothers would like everyone to know that they will vote ‘No’ in the referendum.”

“This is a sham constitution that the junta is trying to force onto us,” he says. “If we vote
‘Yes,’ democracy will never come to Burma.”

Par Par Lay and Lu Maw, his fellow comedian, were both imprisoned for seven years during the 1990s. Par Par Lay was jailed again for more than one month during the 2007 civil uprising.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=11576

More news from Irrawaddy

Overseas Burmese Protest Constitution

UNSC Deadlocked on Burma

Burma’s PM to visit Thailand this Week

Thai Police Seize More Than 1,000 Fake Passports

Mon Villagers Unsure, Indifferent about Referendum

Burmese Abroad to Demonstrate Against Constitution

Security Tightened for Anti-Government Rally in Bangkok

USDA Member Killed over Aggressive Campaign Tactics

US Senate Approves Top US Honor for Suu Kyi

Junta Using Threats to Win Referendum Vote, Says NLD





Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Posted in ဧရာ၀တီ

Tagged with ,

World Focus on Burma (28 April 08)

leave a comment »

Would-be Burmese voters start to despair of getting an invitation
New Zealand Herald, New Zealand –
But as the clock ticks closer to the May 10 ballot in Myanmar, Mr Aung, like hundreds of Burmese nationals in New Zealand, has given up hope.

Burmese in Ottawa: Vote ‘No’ to Referendum
Epoch Times, NY –
By Pam McLennan On May 10
Burma‘s citizens will vote on a referendum to either accept or reject the constitution drafted by the SPDC (State Peace Democracy

Top Asian News at 6:30 am GMT
TMCnet –
as a ploy to help
Myanmar‘s ruling junta keep its grip on power. The demonstrators, organized by the Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma,

Burma to let Suu Kyi vote in May referendum
Independent-Bangladesh, Bangladesh –
The Burmese military government has decided to allow pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to vote in a May 10 national referendum on whether to endorse a

Monday, May 5
International Herald
Tribune, France
1824 – British troops take over
Rangoon, Burma — now Myanmar. 1862 – Mexican army defeats invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla. ..

Myanmar nationals in Singapore signal ‘no’ as they wait to vote
AFP –

SINGAPORE (AFP) — About 500 Myanmar nationals in Singapore wore shirts displaying the word “no” as they waited Sunday to vote in a referendum on a new

MANY wore red T-shirts and caps printed with the word “No”.
TODAYonline, Singapore
Up to 1000
Myanmar citizens lined up yesterday outside their country’s embassy in Singapore to vote in a referendum on a military-backed draft Constitution,

the wicked slight of indifference
CanadaEast.com, Canada
for Aung San Suu Kyi, the activist who will join the group when she is free of government-imposed house arrest in
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).

One Billion Dollars Allowed Afghan Rebels to Defeat the Soviets
Salem-News.Com, OR –
The new Rambo movie highlights the problem in Burma today, also known as Myanmar, where political oppression is operating at extreme levels, thus keeping a

Junta likely to control Internet connection sector-wise
Mizzima.com, India –
An official from the Myanmar Communication Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Mizzima that the government is likely to divide internet

Overseas Burmese Protest Constitution
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The demonstrators, organized by the Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma, chanted slogans against the May 10 referendum.

Burmese embassy in Singapore extends polling days
Mizzima.com, India –
The Burmese embassy in Singapore on Monday announced that it will extend the period for polling on the country’s draft constitution, as several Burmese

UNSC Deadlocked on Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By LALIT K JHA / UNITED NATIONS The Security Council remains deadlocked on a presidential statement on Burma even as diplomats of the 15-member UN body met

Burma’s PM to visit Thailand this Week
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By SAI SILP Burma’s Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein is expected in Thailand on Tuesday for a three-day official visit that will focus on reaching a

AB Dışişleri Bakanları toplanıyor(ingilizce)
ABHaber, Belgium –
Starting at 10.00, the Council will focus on external relations, including Burma/Myanmar, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and the Middle East.

A Year In Review: Destination Hucktown?
Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun, NY –
This year changed that, as monks began protesting in September of 2007 in Myanmar (known as Burma back in my day) against the oppressive military government

New Documentary Exposes Brutal Military Campaign Against Karen
PR Web (press release), WA –
Although press reports continue about the ongoing military rule in Burma, also referred to as Myanmar, few are aware of the brutal campaign by the Burmese

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Posted in World Focus on Burma

Tagged with ,

World Focus on Burma (27 April 08)

leave a comment »

Burma Activists Stage Protests in Thailand, Singapore
Voice of America –
By VOA News The demonstrators, organized by the Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma, chanted slogans against the May 10 referendum. …
Myanmar nationals protest constitution in Singapore
Reuters UK, UK –
Other underground opposition groups are also pushing for the former Burma’s 53 million people to reject the charter. At least 60 people have been arrested …
Activists protest as embassy conducts polling
Mizzima.com, India –
Chiang Mai – Burmese activists on Sunday staged a brief protest outside the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, exhorting voters to reject the ruling junta’s draft …
Security tightened in Myanmar amid possible demonstration
The Associated Press –
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962. Its government has been widely criticized for human rights abuses and suppression of …
Irregularities in absentee voting in Singapore, Malaysia
Mizzima.com, India –
But what we fear is since the results are not going to be announced here but will be announced along with others in Burma, there could be a possibility that …
Burma bars anti-constitution group from voting
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Others sported T-shirts reading, “We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma.” Those wearing the shirts refused to take them off and were not admitted …
Pro-democracy Myanmar citizens in Singapore wait at embassy to …
International Herald Tribune, France –
Myanmar used to be known as Burma. “I’m going to vote ‘no’ because the draft constitution is for a sham democracy,” the university student said. …
Myanmar junta says referendum will be ‘fair’
Macau Daily Times, Macau –
Myanmar’s junta has said next month’s vote on its proposed constitution would be held in a “systematic and fair manner” and warned the military would “ward …
Democracy activist will receive medal
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY –
Suu Kyi has been under house arrest by the military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Giving her the medal continues the tradition of “honoring …
After raids, refugees given jobs
Baltimore Sun, United States –
Since January, roughly 400 members of the Karen and Chin ethnic groups from Myanmar, also known as Burma, have moved into Moore County from Houston and …
Are We Nicking Ourselves In The Throat?
Hartford Business –
My bride Carol Ann and I recently visited Burma, as the United States government knows it, or Myanmar, as others now call it. Our trip was organized by the …
Myanmar Nationals in Singapore, Indonesia Vote on Constitution
Bloomberg –
Citizens of the country formally known as Burma lined up in front of their embassy in Singapore for the third day to cast ballots in an April 25-29 vote. …
Myanmar activists stage anti-junta protest in Thailand
International Herald Tribune, France –
Myanmar is also known as Burma. A statement from the umbrella committee for a dozen dissident exile organizations said the constitution was drawn up solely …
Asia’s rainforests vanishing as timber, food demand surge: experts
AFP –
“Burma has been logged by Thai generals. And if you look at the corruption of forestry in the Philippines, it’s tied in many areas during the Marcos years …
Burma junta’s new threats over constitution
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –
By Colin Hinshelwood in Chiang Mai, Thailand Burma’s military junta is taking harsh steps to ensure that a new constitution keeping it in control of the …
Economic View Freer Trade Could Fill the World’s Rice Bowl
New York Times, United States –
Burma, now Myanmar, was once the world’s leading rice exporter, but it is now an economic basket case and many of its people go hungry. …
Protest against junta at UN office
Sunday Times.lk, Sri Lanka –
The peaceful protest organized by the Myanmar Student Monk Association in Sri Lanka aimed at saying ‘No’ to the existing Myanmar military junta’s …
Myanmar to let Suu Kyi vote in May referendum
The Daily Yomiuri, Japan –
BANGKOK–The Myanmar military government has decided to allow pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to vote in a May 10 national referendum on whether to …
Evangelism in Western Post-Modern Secular Culture
Virtue Online, PA –
It has been my privilege to supervise a doctoral dissertation on the history of the Anglican Church in Myanmar, Burma. It is instructive to see how, …
Myanmar activists fear intimidation
Aljazeera.net, Qatar –
Myanmar’s military government has cracked down on opponents of its proposed constitution, according to the country’s pro-democracy opposition. …
Junta adopts dubious means to win support for constitution
Mizzima.com, India –
An official in Burma’s second largest city of Mandalay, who has been appointed secretary of one of the polling booths told Mizzima that while the counting …
Aung San Suu Kyi claims supporters are being beaten
Bombay News, India –
Myanmar’s pro-democracy opposition, which is led by by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has claimed supporters are being beaten. …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm