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Archive for July 2008

Myanmar: What is the 8888 demonstration and what was General Ne Win’s reaction?

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July 30, 2008 at 21:15:20

by Ashin Mettacara

General Ne Win, the first military ruler of Myanmar

8888 was the largest demonstration that took place in Burma. 8888 derives from the date when the demonstration began: on 8th of August 1988.

In 1987, before the 8888 uprising, the head of state General Ne Win replaced the currency notes (Kyat in Burmese), 75, 35 and 25 with newly currency notes, 45 and 90. The equation of 4+5 and 9+0 = 9. Ne Win was advised to consider 9 as lucky number by his astrologer. But General Ne Win”-s decision to replace newly currency made the economic crisis in the country worse. People were suffering more and more because of the government changing the currency.

In this regard, all students of Yangon Technological University gathered and protested on campus. But the military responded to the students by killing. A student named Phone Maw was killed in this protest. The death of Phone Maw led the 8888 demonstration on August 8, 1988 to begin. The demonstration was widespread. Buddhist monks and citizens from all walks of life came to the streets and joined in demanding for the restoration of democracy and to bring an end to the military dictatorship in Burma.

The military opened fire on the demonstrators and more than 3000 people were killed. But the military government said as usual that the death toll was only a few.

There was a remarkable word said by General Ne Win: “Guns were not to shoot upwards” which means that the military is ordered to shoot directly to the people who are opposing.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Myanmar–What-is-the-8888–by-Ashin-Mettacara-080730-376.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 31, 2008 at 4:42 am

World focus on Burma (31 July 2008)

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Private donations for cyclone victims in Burma petering off

Mizzima.com, India –

Rangoon – Three months after the killer cyclone lashed Burma’s coastal regions, survivors said aid from private donors is slowly petering off, …

Expose backers of Burma’

PRWeek UK, UK –

‘People know how brutal the Burma regime can be after coverage of the revolution and Cyclone Nargis,’ he said. ‘They want to know why it is still in power. …

Canadian Trade Controls For US Companies Doing Business In Canada

Mondaq News Alerts (subscription), UK –

Canada’s Burma sanctions program, the most aggressive elements of which came into effect in December 2007, is a case in point. …

2008 Beijing Olympics: China Blames USA

Sports-Odds.com, FL –

… were made after the US House of Representatives passed a resolution, by 419 votes to one on Wednesday that attacked Beijing history of human rights. …

Bomb explodes in Mudon, no casualties

Mizzima.com, India –

Chiang Mai – A small bomb on Wednesday night exploded at the telecommunication office in Mudon of Southern Burma’s Mon state, sources said. …

Weasels bow to China’s will

Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –

Giving the Games to China would in fact help human rights, the IOC said. China would be forced to open up and be nice. I mean, those nice Chinese leaders …

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

… rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma (Myanmar). …

Awareness campaign on Burma’s August uprising in Delhi

Mizzima.com, India –

… of Burma the activists will be conducting a conference; a photo exhibition of protests in September last year and the recent devastation by Cyclone …

China and the West: parallel worlds

The Age, Australia –

… rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma (Myanmar)”. …

Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks

Voice of America –

Mr. Bush is expected to shift focus in Thailand to another world trouble spot – neighboring Burma. “Our message is the United States believes in democracy …

THAILAND: Thaksin’s Wife Gets Jail Term For Tax Fraud

Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –

‘’It was a fair trial and the decision rendered by the court was fair,’’ Somchai Homlaor, a Thai human rights lawyer, told IPS. …

Eritrea “Has Become One Big Jail,” Activist Says

NewsBlaze, CA –

At a panel discussion hosted by the US Mission to the United Nations, she was one of six panelists – the others being from Belarus, Burma, Cuba, …

help: Benefit Concert for Burma and Sichuan

FStation.com, CA –
1000000 people, the populations of Oakland and San Francisco combined, already have or might die in Burma ( Myanmar ) as a result of Cyclone Nargis. …

Thailand’s human rights chief must resign

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –

… a member of the Asian Human Rights Commission with over 15 years of experience as an advocate of human rights and the rule of law in Thailand and Burma. …

Zarganar and Zaw Thet Htway appear in court

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Both Zarganar and Zaw Thet Htway were enthusiastically working to provide aid to cyclone victims before their arrests on 4 and 13 June respectively.

Zarganar Appears in Court in Insein Prison

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand – By SAW YAN NAING After nearly two months in detention, Zarganar, Burma’s best-known comedian, and a colleague, appeared in court in Insein Prison in Rangoon …

Christiane Amanpour, CNN Investigate Tibetan Buddhist Struggles ...

RealityTVWebsite.com, IN –

In Myanmar, formerly Burma, Buddhist monks are also at the forefront of political unrest. Amanpour meets the leaders of the September 2007 Saffron …

ASK is answer

News Sentinel, IN –

… and Kyi were dental school classmates in Rangoon, then joined the revolution against the military dictatorship that now runs Burma, also called Myanmar. …

House Resolution Demands China End Human Rights Abuses Before Games

AHN –

Washington, DC (AHN) – The US House approved a resolution on Wednesday asking China to correct its poor human rights record before next week’s Olympics …

Junta Slams Exile Group’s UN Campaign

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The New Light of Myanmar published an article about Maung Maung, the secretary-general of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) and other groups …

Burma on Bush Agenda while in Thailand

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

… that broadcasts into Burma, so he can give a message directly to the Burmese people,” said Dennis Wilder, the senior director for Asian affairs at the …

Burma: Tom Lantos “Block Burmese Jade Act” has been passed by both …

UNPO, Netherlands –

The National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) acclaims the United States Government for enacting the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s …

Reuters –

Another 800000 were displaced in a disaster that the UN says affected 2.4 million people in the former Burma, where most people rely on farming for a living …

ABFSU slams abuse of ten Muslim students

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 31, 2008 (DVB)–The All Burma Federation of Student Unions has criticised the treatment of ten Muslim student activists who have been sent to hard labour …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

“On the international front, the Chinese government continues to support the genocidal regime in Sudan and the military junta in Burma.” Pelosi said human …

Will herstory repeat itself?

The Jewish Journal of greater L.A, CA –

Human Rights Watch reports that as a direct result of inequalities found in their countries of origin, women from Ukraine, Moldova, Nigeria, the Dominican …

US House: Statement by Chairman Berman on the House floor in …

ISRIA (subscription), DC –

Because of China’s failure to improve its record on supporting human rights at home and abroad, now is the time to call on China to take immediate, …

Africa: World Community Renews Call to Free Prisoners of Conscience

AllAfrica.com, Washington –

Panelists from Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Syria and Uzbekistan spoke to more than 120 diplomats, journalists and representatives of nongovernmental …

Australia rebukes China over reporter internet censorship

The Australian, Australia –

… rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma (Myanmar). …

Chinese FM Spokesman Urges US to Curb “Odious Conduct” of Anti …

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

… criticized China on human rights issues and asked the Chinese Government to stop supporting the governments of Sudan and Myanmar [Burma]. …

My Yoke isn’t Easy

Chiang Mai City Life, Thailand –

It is estimated 1500 citizens of Burma are held captive – some have been for many years – for having political credos different from the kleptocrats ruling …

Fresh charge against Maung Weik

Mizzima.com, India –

“He (the businessman) is suspected of allowing the Malaysian to stay in Myanmar (Burma) without informing the immigration authority,” a police source said. …

Myanmar plays the UN and the world for suckers

The Gazette (Montreal), Canada –

It’s hard to say which is more appalling: the way Myanmar’s elite skimmed as much as $10 million from international aid money flowing into the country for …

Letter: Doesn’t trust food statistics

Appeal-Democrat, CA –

Does anyone remember the recent tragedy in Myanmar (formally Burma) when a cyclone killed more than 85000 people. Their government confiscated all the …

Farmers struggle with lack of resources

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 30, 2008 (DVB)–Farmers in the cyclone-hit township of Labutta in Irrawaddy division are still struggling to resume their work due to lack of resources, …

Felix Dexter – Comedy shuffle

The List, UK –

Which means that in the guise of a un-PC character, Dexter feels able to make a joke like ‘a lot of people died in Burma recently, but on the good side …

Ex-Thai PM Thaksin’s wife guilty of tax evasion

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –

© AP BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – A Thai court has found the wife of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of tax evasion and has sentenced her …

Ex-Thai PM’s wife guilty of fraud

BBC News, UK –

The wife of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been convicted of tax fraud by a court in Bangkok. Pojaman Shinawatra was sentenced to three …

Ancient sculptures found in Tripura

Zee News, India –

… Palas and Guptas of Bengal, influence of the Arakan in Mynamar (formerly Burma) and local style, Jawahar Achariya, a historian and numismatist, said. …

Thaksin’s wife awaits ruling on tax evasion case

International Herald Tribune, France –

AP BANGKOK, Thailand: The wife of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra awaited a court’s verdict Thursday on whether she evaded millions of dollars …

Verdict expected in Thaksin tax evasion case

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –

© AP BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – The wife of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is awaiting a court verdict on whether she evaded millions of …

… rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma (Myanmar). …

UNICEF’s change for good achieves landmark of £25 million
eTravelBlackboard – Asia Edition, Australia –
Earlier this year, in response to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar (Burma), £300000 was donated to UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts, helping to provide .

JVC: US Ban on Rubies, Jadeite Starts Within 60 Days of Enactment

Diamonds.net, NY –

The bill requires that within 60 days of enactment, jadeite or rubies of Burma (Myanmar) origin cannot be imported into the US This importation ban would …

White House says US wants big change from China

The Associated Press –

… lady Laura Bush will visit Thailand’s Mae La camp, home to thousands of refugees who have fled repression in neighboring Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

US Lawmakers Urge Support for Darfur Peacekeepers

Voice of America –

“The Chinese government continues to support the genocidal regime in Sudan and the military junta in Burma. Their actions run counter to our interests in …

Press Briefing by Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the …

MarketWatch –

And then he will be interviewed by the press in Thailand that broadcast into Burma, so that he can give a message directly to the Burmese people. …

Leading article: The Burmese deserve better

Independent, UK –

An admission by the UN this week that it had “lost” some $10m in aid to cyclone-stricken Burma must come as a shock to the many donors who forked out …

Medical Teams International volunteers use their unique talents

The Regal Courier, OR –

By Barbara Sherman Toni Miles has become an expert at reading product expiration dates, a skill she never dreamed would be important until she started …

New graft case against Thai PM

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

In the Myanmar case, an army-appointed graft panel accused Thaksin of ordering a state bank in 2004 to increase the size of a loan to the military-ruled …

China gets pre-Olympics rights rap

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

… rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma (Myanmar). …

Trade of Burmese precious gems banned in US

WiredPRNews.com (press release), TX –

Nevertheless, despite the 2003 ban on trade, a loophole allowed the buying of gems, which originate in Burma and were polished or cut in third world …

Voice of America –

By Dan Robinson US lawmakers, organizations advocating for human rights and religious freedom, and China democracy activists have sharply criticized the …

Trade of Burmese precious gems banned in US

WiredPRNews.com (press release), TX –

The appalling record of the regime, beginning with a massacre in 1988 ending the pro-democracy disputes, has given it a reclusive status in the Western …

Summit gives disaster response leaders ‘Eagle Vision’

Edwards Air Force Base, CA –

… Midwest flooding and California fires, the imagery was used globally for responders to Cyclone Nargis in Burma, recent major earthquakes in China, …

Pelosi Statement on House Resolution Calling on China to Cease …

MarketWatch –

On the international front, the Chinese government continues to support the genocidal regime in Sudan and the military junta in Burma. …

Relief Still Spotty For Victims Of Myanmar Cyclone

OPB News, OR –

She was the only official from the Tigard relief agency allowed into Myanmar, or Burma. Dyment spent 2 months there. Dyment said the political situation …

So long bull market, it’s time to live with the bear

Stockhouse, Canada –

“And even North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) haven’t managed that little feat of autarky,” he quips. But on the whole, Canadian financial institutions have not …

Olympic Games show China through a glass, darkly

Times Online, UK –

… against Zimbabwe, not to mention its continued support for the Government of Sudan, its latest big gas deal with Iran or its heavy involvement in Burma.

President Bush Signs Myanmar Gemstone Ban

Luxist, CA –

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, produces some of the world’s most beautiful rubies. The rubies from the Mogok region have a deep translucent color often …

Burmese Writers Play Cat-and-Mouse Game with State Censors

NewsBlaze, CA –

After Cyclone Nargis in May, a survivor unveiled a billboard reading, “We want food, not gold.” In Burmese, shwe, means gold, a probable reference to …

Saarc economic agenda all but forgotten
Livemint, India –
Myanmar, or Burma, was after all part of British India till 1935, after which the last king was ordered to live in Ratnagiri (in Maharashtra) where he died.

Canadian aid worker says efforts to help cyclone Nargis victims …

News1130, Canada –

But he expects it will take six months to finish that task in Myanmar, also known as Burma, which was hit by the cyclone May 2-3. …

Burma and Zimbabwe witness the last gasps of the supreme global ...

New Zimbabwe.com, Zimbabwe –

The first was Burma (or Myanmar as it should be known). We can all agree that the regime is odious. The question facing the rest of the world in the …

The Evolution of the National Security Concept of China

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey –

Asian financial crisis in 1997 startled the Communist leadership since “the fall of Suharto in Indonesia clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of ..

Burma: Slow Start for Free-to-Air Digital TV

RedOrbit, TX –

Consumers have been slow to adopt Myanmar’s first free-to-air digital television channel launched in early February by [army-run] Myawaddy Television (MWD), …

World focus on Burma (30 July 2008)

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Cyclone relief in Burma going slowly: Canadian

CTV.ca, Canada –

TORONTO — Three months after cyclone Nargis swept into Burma, a Canadian aid worker says initial relief efforts to help its victims will take three months …

Thai Supreme Court to open new trial against Thaksin on state loan …

Xinhua, China –

… against coup-ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of abuse of power in pushing a state loan to Myanmar allegedly to benefit his family business. …

Burmese rock star Lay Phyu to sing for cyclone victims

Mizzima.com, India –

Cyclone Nargis, which lashed Burma on May 2 and 3, left at least 138000 dead and missing, and devastated the lives of more than 2.4 million people.

Lending a hand in Malaysia

Arab Tribune, AL –

A military junta launched a coup in 1962 and took over Burma. Renaming it Myanmar was the least of their crimes. The military abolished the constitution and …

The Frank Marshall Davis Network in Hawaii

Canada Free Press, Canada –

After graduating from the MIS Language School, Yoneda served in the China-Burma-India Office of the War Information Psychological Warfare Team. …

Why the Media Fears John McCain

Huffington Post, NY –

asked the Time Magazine Editor (who caused a storm earlier this year for his calls to invade Burma). Obama’s progressive side flashed, and the Illinois …

Burma Permits 12 Local, Foreign Companies to Invest in Cyber City

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

Burma has three Internet service providers – the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), BaganNet/Myanmar Teleport (formerly known as Bagan …

Asia Gets Mixed Review in Global Fight against HIV/AIDS Spread

An unidentified abandoned baby girl, who nurses said was HIV infected, lies on the floor at the Phnom Penh Nutrition Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (File)

조선일보(영문판), South Korea –

Sun says there has been a decline in overall prevalence rates in Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. But Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Pakistan …

UN calls for doubled aid to Burma

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –

Ibrahim Gambari, special envoy of the UN secretary-general to Myanmar, met with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan to express his appreciation for the …

The Evolution of the National Security Concept of China

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey –

[7] In 1999, the then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin proclaimed at a UN Conference that “the new international situation has called for a new security …

Burmese junta skimming UN aid

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

THE United Nations has admitted that £5 million ($10.4 million) of aid intended for Burmese cyclone survivors has been skimmed off by banks run by the …

Thaksin faces new charge

The Age, Australia –

The investigators claim Thaksin wrongly ordered another bank to increase a 3 billion baht ($A94 million) loan to 4 billion baht so that Burma’s ruling junta …

What Will ASEAN say to a Malaysian Islamic State?

American Muslim, MO –

Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei remain predominantly Muslim, but they are flanked by predominantly Buddhist Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and even Vietnam. …

London’s Link to Burmese Junta Revealed

Buzzle, CA –

… the generals running the oppressed south-east Asian nation. The London insurance involvement, to be exposed this week in a report by Burma Campaign UK, …

Thailand Court Agrees to Hear Case Against Thaksin in New Blow to …

Voice of America –

The case against Thaksin Shinawatra alleges that he used his influence as Prime Minister to arrange low-interest loans to Burma so that the military …

Millions In Aid For Myanmar Disappears

Evening Bulletin, PA –

Mr. Holmes explained that roughly a third of approximately $200 million so far spent by UN agencies in Myanmar had been used to buy local products and …

Burma’s Fishery Industry near Standstill

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

A barrel of diesel is around 320000 kyat (US $273)” According to the Myanmar Offshore Fishing Vessel Owners Association, there are 536 registered offshore …

Bush Signs Burma Jade Act, Adds to Sanction’s List

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The Department of Treasury said the sanctions target two conglomerates, the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEH) and the Myanmar Economic …

Thai Court Agrees to Hold Trial on Thaksin’s Burma Loan

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The funds were earmarked for improvements to Burma’s Internet system. The loan approval drew criticism that Thaksin, who supervised the bank at the time, …

UN’s Lost Aid May Be Tip of the Iceberg

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

It was instrumental in forcing the UN this week to admit to losses to the junta of at least US$10 million on cyclone cash aid transmitted into Burma. …

/REPEAT — Media Advisory – Relief for Cyclone Survivors Continues …

Canada NewsWire (press release), Canada –

Threats to children’s wellbeing remain three months after storm Andrew Kirkwood, Save the Children Myanmar Country Director, discusses humanitarian efforts …

(Re)insurers fingered for ‘insuring repression’ in Burma – report

Post Magazine (subscription), UK –

The Burma Campaign UK has fingered some of the world’s biggest insurers, accusing them of facilitating the “flow of billions of dollars to the Burmese …

Burmese loan case is fourth supreme court charge against Thaksin

Crain’s Manchester Business, UK –

Thailand’s Supreme Court today agreed to hear another case against Manchester City Football Club owner Thaksin Shinawatra, the second time a new charge has …

US renews Myanmar sanctions

PRESS TV, Iran –

President Bush has signed a punitive legislation against Myanmar, freezing assets of its leaders and banning import of its gems into US. …

Thai court to hear another case against Thaksin

Radio Netherlands, Netherlands –

Thailand’s Supreme Court has decided to hear a case against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The former prime minister, who was ousted in a …

US extends Myanmar gem sanctions

Aljazeera.net, Qatar –

The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, referring to Myanmar’s former name, renews a sanctions regime imposed since 2003 over the suppression of the …

Burmese exiles’ leading media websites under attack

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

… hundreds of thousands during the September protests in Burma last year and in May and June this year, following the destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis.

Junta censors magazine story on Burmese journalist

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

A SEAPA partner, it aims to promote awareness about the situation in Burma and promote democracy and freedom of expression in the country.

Junta skims UN cash aid

The Province, Canada –

BANGKOK — The United Nations has admitted that $10 million of aid intended for Myanmar cyclone survivors has been skimmed off by banks run by the country’s …

Price rise force farmers to reduce fertilizer use

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi — Several farmers Cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta’s Bogale Township, said they are forced to reduce the use of fertilizers on their paddy fields to …

Supreme Court opens new case against Thaksin

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

… to open a new case against ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been accused of abuse of power in pushing a state loan to neighbouring Burma. …

UDPATE 1-Top Thai court hits Thaksin over Myanmar loans

Reuters India, India –

In the Myanmar case, an army-appointed graft panel accused Thaksin of ordering a state bank in 2004 to increase the size of a loan to the military-ruled …

Supreme Court accepts Myanmar EXIM loan case against Thaksin

Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

The EXIM Bank loan scandal originated in the bank’s decision to lend B t4 billion to Myanmar for the purchase of machinery for national development during …

Rep. Pitts key in new Myanmar sanctions

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, third from right, watches President Bush on Tuesday sign a bill that renews import restrictions on Myanmar. Also watching the ceremony are, from left, Rep. Don Mansullo, R-Ill.; Rep. Chris Smith,R-N.J.; first lady Laura Bush; Annette Lantos; Shiloh Tilleman; Rep. Rush Holt, DN. J.; and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

Lancaster Newspapers, PA –
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962. The current government took power in 1988 after crushing prodemocracy demonstrations …

The Al-Jazeera Effect

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

The last time we were in Burma was not only during the crackdown (in October last year). We were in Burma a week before Cyclone Nargis, and we have been …

Aid work opens ‘positive door’ for UN, Myanmar cooperation

Myanmar Times, Burma –

With a full assessment completed, monitoring schemes in place and wide access for aid workers, the conditions requested by donors at the ASEAN Donors …

Thai court accepts another case against Thaksin

International Herald Tribune, France –
The complaint, brought by the Assets Examination Committee, said a 2004 low-interest loan to Myanmar by the state-controlled Export-Import Bank of Thailand …

Top Thai court hits Thaksin over Myanmar loans

Reuters –

An army-appointed graft panel has accused Thaksin of ordering a state bank in 2004 to increase the size of a loan to the military-ruled former Burma to buy …

Court agrees to hear Exim bank loan against Thaksin

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

… decided Wednesday to hear a case against ex-premier Thaksin Shianwatra, which involved a four-billion-baht loan given Burma during his administration. …

Thai court takes new case against Thaksin over Myanmar loan

AFP –

… agreed Wednesday to hear new corruption charges against deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, involving a controversial loan to military-ruled Myanmar. …

Supreme Court decides to consider the Exim Bank loan case against …

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

AEC accused Thaksin of abusing his position to order a Bt1 billion increase in the amount of loans to Burma, allegedly for the benefit of his family’s …

Supreme Court accepts to consider Exim Bank case against Thaksin

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

The Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to consider the Exim Bank loan to Burma against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. …

World’s Press Calls for Release of Burmese Journalist

Media Newsline, India –

“The continued imprisonment of U Win Tin constitutes a deep blemish on the international standing of Myanmar (Burma) which can only be erased by his release …

Aid work opens ‘positive door’ for UN, Myanmar cooperation

Myanmar Times, Burma –

Mr Holmes told The Myanmar Times in an interview on Thursday that the UN wants to expand the level of “trust and confidence” already reached with the …

UN Says Millions in Cyclone Aid Lost From Interference by Burmese …

MyFox Spokane, WA –

… who called the losses “unacceptable” and said he raised the issue with the leaders of Burma, also called Myanmar, during a recent trip. …

Bush signs sanctions against Myanmar into law

AFP –
But Congress moved in the aftermath of this year’s devastating cyclone, when the junta blocked entry to many foreign aid workers and relief shipments. …

Sanctions: US puts more pressure on Myanmar regime

Cheif Officers’ Network, Malaysia –
“We are tightening financial sanctions against Burma’s repressive junta and the companies that finance it,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. …

Bush Tightens Sanctions on Myanmar Junta, Targets Gem Trade

Bloomberg –

New York-based Human Rights Watch welcomed the steps against Myanmar’s gem trade. “Since 2003, the US government has banned products from Burma, …

Official confesses world body ‘arguably a bit slow to recognize …

WorldNetDaily, OR –

By Matt Sanchez NEW YORK – As much as $10 million of United Nations relief funds designated for Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis have been siphoned off …

Unjust Chinese policies cannot be divorced from Olympics

Irish Times, Ireland –
It has also repeatedly called for the release of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was honoured some years ago with the Freedom of Dublin …

Burma and Zimbabwe witness the last gasps of the supreme global …

guardian.co.uk, UK –
The first was Burma (or Myanmar as it should be known). We can all agree that the regime is odious. The question facing the rest of the world in the …

UN loses $10m aid in Burma exchange rate scam

Independent, UK –

… certificates with a nominal value of $1 each that are then exchanged for the local currency, the kyat, at a rate set by Burma’s military government. …

Myanmar: A month in the Delta

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

‘Some villages were literally erased from the landscape,’ says Mascall, Merlin’s logistics manager in Myanmar. He went on to spend a gruelling and demanding …

Is the Philippines a failed state?

Manila Times, Philippines –
Among ASEAN member states, we are a little better than Burma, Timor Leste, Laos, and Cambodia. However, we are worse than Muslim majority countries …

Taiwan Records Dengue Infection Charity Workers Caught in Burma

RedOrbit, TX –

A subsequent investigation conducted by health authorities found that she and 10 other members of her group had visited Myanmar to help with the aftermath …

US Tightens Burma Sanctions

Voice of America –

By Michael Bowman President Bush has signed bills to renew and extend sanctions on Burma in hopes of prodding the country’s military junta towards democracy …

Mobile Medical Teams Help Cyclone Victims in Burma

Voice of America –

It is part of a broader health program for Myanmar. We have also, with our partners, set up 15 temporary clinics, these are tented clinics in places where …

Khalizad: Low rates for UN aid troubling

United Press International –

… reportedly acknowledged a $10 million loss in currency exchange in Myanmar because government officials for the country formerly known as Burma tell the …

Bush signs Myanmar sanctions bill

The Associated Press –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962. The current junta took power in 1988 after crushing pro-democracy demonstrations at a …

UPDATE 1-US Treasury imposes new sanctions on Myanmar firms

Reuters –

The legislation bans the import of Myanmar rubies and jade, freezes assets of the military leaders and aims to stop the country, formerly known as Burma, …

US clamps down on firms linked to Myanmar

The Associated Press –

It marked the latest administration move to financially punish the repressive junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and its backers for a crackdown on …

Julie Benz in the Warzone

Crave Online, CA –
I do a lot of work for the US Campaign for Burma because of my experience with the movie. And I’ve become very involved in what’s going on over in that part …

UN loses US $ 10 million in distorted Burmese official exchange rate

Mizzima.com, India –
In Burma, foreign aid groups, including UN agencies that are directly transferring money, have to go through the government-owned Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank …

N Korea coming in from the cold

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Close ties to Asean will help North Korea usher itself into a new era. Asean members Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Burma, Indonesia and Vietnam have good ties …

Quest for freedom and justice has no end

Pacific Daily News, GU –

Last week, I quoted Burma’s dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who advised those feeling “hopeless and despairing: ‘Don’t just sit there. Do something. …

Cash scam in Myanmar swallowing UN cyclone aid: Report

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

A joint assessment report by Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UN has estimated the total damage and losses at 4.4 to 4.5 …

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 29, 2008 at 12:33 am

World focus on Burma (29 July 2008)

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Press Gaggle by Dana Perino

MarketWatch –

… on Burma and the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE, which is Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts Act. That will be in the (Oval) Office and pool coverage. …

Bush OKs new sanctions on Myanmar

UPI NewsTrack TopNews

The Tom Lantos Block Burmese Jade Act of 2008 blocks the import of all jade and rubies from Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, into the United States — both raw materials and finished jewelry.

Stop insuring “Burmese repression”, report says

Mizzima.com, India –

The Burma Campaign UK, a group advocating for human rights and democracy in Burma, in its new report said, these companies are allowing billions of dollars …

AFP –

WASHINGTON (AFP) — President George W. Bush on Tuesday renewed a ban on imports from military-ruled Myanmar and also signed a new law that aims to keep …

Bush OKs New Sanctions on Myanmar

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

… the import of all jade and rubies from Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, into the United States — both raw materials and finished jewelry. …

President Bush Signs HJRes. 93, the Renewal of Import Restrictions …

Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC –

… to welcome members of the Lantos family — Mrs. Lantos, thanks for joining us — and members of Congress who care deeply about democracy in Burma. …

UN aims to address foreign exchange losses

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Burmese economist Khin Maung Nyo said the system was intended to allow foreign currency to be used in Burma but could be abandoned if conditions were right. …

Burma Relief Still Needed

The Epoch Times, NY –

(International Aid Agenci/Getty Images) Two months after the worst storm in its history obliterated Myanmar’s (Burma) coastal regions leaving over two …

UN Press Conference on Myanmar by UN Under-Secretary General for …

ISRIA (subscription), DC –

Just back from a three-day visit to assess the situation in Myanmar’s cyclone-devastated Ayeyarwady delta region, the top United Nations humanitarian …

Rights & Wrongs: Argentina, Burma, Karadzic and Pakistan

World Politics Review –

BURMA SIGNS ASEAN CHARTER, RESISTS COMPLIANCE MONITORING — Optimism in the wake of the Burmese military junta’s decision last week to sign the new charter …

UN aid disappearing in Burma cash scam

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

“We buy kyats at the market rate using dollars,” Daniel Baker, the humanitarian co-ordinator for Burma said that day. “The government has not benefited. …

Bush heading for Thailand to meet Myanmar activists

Merinews, India –

US President George W Bush, who brought in harsher economic and financial sanctions against the Myanmar military junta, will visit Thailand in early August. …

Labutta cyclone refugees sent back to villages

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 29, 2008 (DVB)–Local authorities in Labutta township in Irrawaddy division have in the past week started sending cyclone refugees from temporary camps …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Burma has three Internet service providers—the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), BaganNet/Myanmar Teleport (formerly known as Bagan …

Mizzima website under attack

Mizzima.com, India –

Mizzima News Agency, run by Burmese journalists, is an independent Burmese multi-media group focusing on Burma and related news and issues, and maintains …

NAM ministerial meeting begins

Economic Times, India –

The Bandung Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, …

South African Lawyer Confirmed as UN Rights Chief

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

As UN high commissioner for human rights, Navanethem Pillay will oversee a Geneva-based office with almost 1000 employees and a budget approaching $150 …

Christian leaders questioned over anti-dam campaign

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 29, 2008 (DVB)–Christian religious leaders in Kachin state in northern Burma have been interrogated by local authorities about a poster campaign against …

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

There have been two precedents: Both Laos and Burma gave up their turn because of domestic problems. Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda has …

Burma protestors name and shame insurers

Post Magazine (subscription), UK –

The Burma Campaign UK has today published a new report naming and shaming insurers it claims have facilitated the flow of billions of dollars in to the …

10 million dollars in UN aid “disappear” thanks to Burmese Junta’s …

AsiaNews.it, Italy –

The market rate for kyats is around 1100 per dollar but the UN rate established the junta in Myanmar and payment is now around 880, resulting in a “loss of …

World at a glance

InTheNews.co.uk, UK –

A military junta has ruled Burma since 1962 and in the last year the eyes of the world have twice focused on its regime. A British soldier has been killed …

Tiffany Applauds Congress’ Ban on Burmese Gemstones

IDEX Online, Israel –
… Monday ran an advertisement in the Washington Post saluting the US Congress for passing an absolute embargo on rubies originating in Burma ( Myanmar ). ..

Tehran meeting crucial for NAM revitalization

Mathaba.Net, UK –

The Bandung Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, …

Rights group praises US legislation banning Burmese gems

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

The European Union and Canada already prohibit the import of Myanmar gems. The change in the US law would stipulate that retailers keep records documenting …

Bush likely to meet Burmese activists during Thailand visit

Mizzima.com, India –
Bush is also expected to raise Burma issue during his talks with Thai officials including Foreign Minister Samak. During his term as the President of the …

Currency Loss Unacceptable, but UN Aid to Continue: Holmes

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Holmes was in Burma last week visiting parts of the Irrawaddy delta, which was devastated by Cyclone Nargis in the first week of May, to review the progress …

UN loses US$10m in Burma cyclone aid from exchange rate

The Standard, Hong Kong –

The United Nations said it has lost about US$10 million (HK$78 million) in cyclone relief funds in Burma because of the government-set exchange rate and has …

HRDP provides antenatal support for pregnant women

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

The shelter was founded by HRDP member Ma Myint Myint Mu, who has been involved in relief work in the region since the cyclone. Ma Win Khine, who lost most …

Urge Thai Business to Indochina Investment

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

In May 2008, the bank extended loans worth a total of 13 billion baht to Thai businesses to invest in international projects in the region: in Burma made up …

New Human Rights Chief Faces Daunting Task

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

… a jurist from Canada, who was an equally vociferous defender of human rights and who was refused entry into both North Korea and Myanmar (Burma). …

UN reports losses due to Myanmar exchange rate

Los Angeles Times, CA –

Inner City Press reported last week that the military government in Myanmar, also known as Burma, had changed the official exchange rate since the cyclone …

Drugs, sports and human rights

WalesOnline, United Kingdom –

… of the human rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma”. …

Obama Should Stand Up to Russia’s Regime

Wall Street Journal –

Mr. Obama also asked if the West would stand up for “the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe. …

US: Burma Gem Ban Strengthened

Human Rights Watch (press release) –

Burmese gemstones are tainted by gross human rights abuses. The jewelry industry should take firm action to assure its customers – as well as law …

Time for change’s Journal

Democratic Underground, DC –

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” …

Preserving THE PAST

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

This development of cultural diversity, combined with the economic influence from Chinese merchants and the Shan and Burmese teak loggers from British Burma …

Washington Times, DC –

UNITED NATIONS | Burma is forcing UN aid agencies to convert cash to local currency at below-market rates, costing the world body $10 million so far and …

Constitutional dance makes way for a populist jig

Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa –

The government’s foreign affairs policy, not only on Zimbabwe but also on other dictatorships like Burma, reveals that foreign policy and the Constitution …

Official: UN Lost $10M in Burma

New York Sun, United States –

He promised to raise the issue with Burma’s government to ensure that losses could be cut down in the future. But evidence emerged yesterday that the UN …

The darker side of landscape art

Fresno Bee (subscription), CA –

… considered one of the most prestigious awards in photography, for his 1990 coverage of the ethnic civil war in Burma, now Myanmar. …

Myanmar aid losses ‘unacceptable:’ UN aid coordinator

AFP –

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN aid operation in cyclone-hit Myanmar has lost around 10 million dollars due to distortions in the country’s official exchange …

UN credits Burma for post-cyclone rebuilding

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

United Nations (dpa) – The government in Burma has made “quite a lot of progress” in post-Cyclone Nargis reconstruction efforts since the disaster struck in …

Activists accuse insurers on Burma

Financial Times, UK –

By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi Activists pressing for an end to military rule in Burma have accused global insurance groups of “underwriting” the Burmese junta …

Insurance giants urged to stop business with Burma

MyFinances.co.uk, UK –

Sixteen of the world’s biggest insurance companies have been called on to stop trading in Burma. A new report says companies are allowing billions of …

Progress being made on Myanmar aid effort, says UN’s top relief …

UN News Centre –

28 July 2008 – A degree of normality has returned to some areas affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and there are visible signs of progress in ..

UN admits “significant” Myanmar exchange rate loss

Reuters –

Earlier this month the United Nations issued an appeal for over $300 million in additional aid for Myanmar to cope with the effects of a cyclone in May that …

Changing Course On Burma

Voice of America –

She said the group was instrumental in persuading the junta to reverse its initial obstruction of assistance and accept international aid after Cyclone …

Eureka Street, Australia –

In a small dimly-lit room at the Burmese immigration office, on the border of northern Thailand and Burma, there is a large, luminous portrait of General …

Fighter for the oppressed

Manly Daily, Australia –

“There are times when I wonder how human beings could be so evil,” she said. “The ones that make me most upset are the ones that are planned, where someone …

China, protesters may play cat-and-mouse during Olympics

McClatchy Washington Bureau, DC –

Activist groups that oppose China’s policies in Sudan’s Darfur region, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, Zimbabwe or in China’s own Tibet and Xinjiang regions …

Gay human rights violations don’t sway state lawmakers on Iran …

Bay Windows, MA –

Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan … why Iran versus these other countries? There are a lot of countries that have human rights issues . …

Academic insights

The Standard, Hong Kong –

The new books follows the series on understanding East and Southeast Asia, which covered 11 countries including Vietnam, Myanmar (also known as Burma), …

The Epoch Times, NY –

Moreover, Dr. Trey notes that the Internet offers are surprising in that Asian countries are reluctant to donate organs, unlike western cultures, …

The Return of History and the End of Dreams

The Age, Australia –

Their support for autocratic regimes in North Korea, Burma, Sudan and Iran is all about the pursuit of what great powers have always pursued: power and …

World focus on Burma (28 July 2008)

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Thai firms say crisis will pass

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Deputy Commerce Minister Viroon Tejapaiboon said the Asean Economic Cooperation would focus on strengthening relations with Cambodia, Laos, Burma and …

Outlook: Middle Kingdom, Middle Power

Washington Post, United States –

Burma? Not what I’d call a cosmic threat to our way of life. These are tinpot dictatorships. Now if Kenya or Brazil began to embrace the Chinese way of …

Global Faith and Justice Student Conference in Montreal

Anglican Church of Canada, Canada –

Issues likely to top the Assembly’s agenda are advocacy and support for people’s movements in Burma/Myanmar, Zimbabwe and the Philippines and long-term …

British Airways commemorates UNICEF’s Change For Good achievement …

ASIATravelTips.com, Thailand –
Earlier this year, in response to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar (Burma), £300000 was donated to UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts, helping to provide ..

More funding required to help cyclone victims: private donors …

Mizzima.com, India –

Following the onslaught of Cyclone Nargis on Burma’s coastal divisions on May 2 and 3, the country’s military rulers initially were reluctant to allow …

Don’t let junta off the hook

The Australian, Australia –

It’s a perfect backdrop to ASEAN’s listless approach. So, for Burma’s generals, ratifying the human rights statement was a no-brainer. …

China’s new nationalism may require careful negotiation

guardian.co.uk, UK –

Economic and trade tensions with Europe and the US, the environmental impact of its rapid development, authoritarian governance and human rights abuses, …

Kachin Leaders to Form Political Party

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

However, the group is not yet sure that it will be permitted by Burma’s ruling junta to form a political party to contest the general election scheduled to …

Karen Villagers Flee Burmese Forces

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The report also said the Burmese army has ordered people in Shan State to grow castor oil and rubber plants, in a junta-imposed project to produce biofuel. …

Chinese face tough human rights questions on eve of Games

Statesman Journal, OR –

Since its founding in 1999, the foundation has sought to improve human rights in China through a “dialogue based on equality and mutual respect. …

Olympics bring pride to Chinese Americans

San Francisco Chronicle, USA –

Instead, their demonstration was demonstrated against by protesters assailing China’s human rights record. The torch itself was a no-show, …

An Interview with Jody Williams

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand – 1 hour ago

When it cannot respond to crises like the [Burma] cyclone, when it cannot respond to the crisis of dictatorship there for 50 years, when it cannot respond …

ASEAN needs vision to face growing challenges

Vancouver Sun, Canada –

After signing Nyan Win told his colleagues, that Burma, of course, objected to any investigations. It was just such a development that has raised concerns …

US president likely to meet Burmese activists during visit Thailand

Mizzima.com, India –

Bush is also expected to raise Burma issue during his talks with Thai officials including Foreign Minister Samak. During his term as the President of the …

Vancouver Sun, Canada –

After signing Nyan Win told his colleagues, that Burma, of course, objected to any investigations. It was just such a development that has raised concerns …

Hope for Burma’s cyclone survivors

Independent Online, South Africa –

Auk Pyon Wa, Myanmar – Nearly three months after a cyclone devastated Myanmar’s/Burma’s southern Irrawaddy delta, local firms are helping survivors replace …

Pentagon flexes its altruism muscle

Boston Globe, United States –

There are landslides in the Philippines, floods in Vietnam and Burma. India and Bangladesh deal with flooding, cyclones, typhoons. …

Farmers in Burma go back to work

Boston Globe, United States –

In 1988, demonstrations against Burma’s military junta over rice prices and other issues ended in heavy bloodshed. The United Nations World Food Program has …

Moderate Quake 5.5 Richter struck Myanmar

Thaindian.com, Thailand –
Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by the People’s …

China Post, Taiwan –

But the cattle, brought in from a mountainous region of Myanmar, proved ill-suited to the work, and fewer than half the donated seeds sprouted. …

Spielberg pulls out of the Olympics

Insider Media Group, Canada –

His decision to withdraw came as a result of China’s foreign policy on political events in Burma and human rights violations in the Darfur region of Sudan. …

Bush Should Go to the Olympics, by Victor D. Cha

조선일보(영문판), South Korea –

In Burma, the Chinese have quietly hardened their stance toward the military junta after the September 2007 crackdown against peaceful monk demonstrations. …

NEWS IN BRIEF

Al Watan Daily, Kuwait –

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, requires foreign aid money to be converted first into foreign exchange certificates at a fixed price and then into the …

Hardened old scribes share hot night in Bangkok

Otago Daily Times, New Zealand –

A conversation begins about who got into Myanmar/Burma for Cyclone Nargis, who tried, and who was too scared. Of course the best in the business had no …

Her people’s voice: American citizen bears witness to the tragedy …

Waterbury Republican American, CT –

… fighting the government of Myanmar for about 60 years, since shortly after the departure of the British from the country, then known as Burma, in 1948. …

UK underwriters ‘helping Myanmar’s brutal regime’

New Zealand Herald, New Zealand –

The Burma Campaign report will expose eight other insurance companies. By Myanmar law, all insurance has to goes through Myanma Insurance, …

Abusing the Olympic spirit

Phayul, Tibet –

The Chinese government exports its human rights abuses to other countries such as Zimbabwe, Burma and Dafur. There is also emerging evidence that Chinese …

women in black weekly vigil and some Zionist propaganda

Bay Area Indymedia, CA –

Many of the weapons deals are with corrupt and dictatorial governments such as Burma and China. Furthermore, Israeli Army personal trained the South African …

Artist auction pulls in $13000

The Press, New Zealand –

Carolyn Chisholm said she was so moved by the havoc wreaked in Myanmar, formerly Burma, in May that she decided to use her skills and connections to do …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 28, 2008 at 5:09 am

Cambodia’s Hun Sen, one-eyed guerrilla turned to statesman

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www.ChinaPost.com

Monday, July 21, 2008
By Patrick Falby, AFP

PHNOM PENH — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen lost an eye as a Khmer Rouge guerrilla in the 1970s, but later abandoned the movement in his own ruthless drive to secure power and undercut all his rivals.

The 55-year-old premier has vowed to remain Cambodia’s head of state until he is 90, and has been on top so long that many fear the country will collapse if he is suddenly removed.

Voters appear unlikely to end Hun Sen’s 23-year rule when they go to the polls on July 27, with his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) expected to romp to victory.

His confidence is so complete that he has taken the unusual tactic of not campaigning for his re-election.

“I will not participate during the campaign. I don’t want to face confrontation because during that time of year many people will criticize the CPP,” he said.

And yet Hun Sen’s presence is felt everywhere.

Outside of campaign season, Hun Sen appears in public almost every day. He is flown throughout the countryside in his helicopter to give televised speeches at the openings of pagodas, schools and bridges.

The message: Hun Sen brought you this.

“If I vote for a new political party, there might be chaos,” said Say Phumivaun, a 19-year-old student from western Battambang province, voicing a familiar sentiment.

To rural villagers, Hun Sen is also the Cambodian everyman. His sharp, populist wit and humble upbringing making him one of their own.

He often veers from prepared remarks — launching into coarsely-worded rants against phantom coups, arrogant foreigners or international demands for reform.

Born the third of six children to peasant farmers in central Cambodia, Hun Sen moved to the capital Phnom Penh at age 12, where he was so poor he was forced to live in a Buddhist pagoda while attending school.

When Cambodia fell into civil war in 1970, he became a foot soldier for what later emerged as the Khmer Rouge — the genocidal regime behind Cambodia’s killing fields.

Hun Sen claims he opposed the Khmer Rouge as early as 1975. But he remained with the movement, losing an eye in the fighting and rising to the rank of deputy regional commander.

He married field nurse Bun Rany in a mass ceremony in 1976, but fled a year later to Vietnam as the regime that killed up to two million people was consumed by its own paranoia, purging thousands.

Hun Sen returned in 1978 with other Cambodian defectors and Vietnamese troops who pushed the Khmer Rouge into the country’s far northwest, where fighting lasted for another two decades.

He quickly rose to the top of the Hanoi-installed government of the 1980s, becoming the world’s youngest prime minister in 1985.

As his country emerged from conflict, he abandoned the communist dogma of his Vietnamese patrons, embracing the free market and seeking out alliances with more powerful nations.

Today, the strongman has maneuvered his country from civil war into a position of growing regional influence and an avid partner with China and the United States.

Garment exports and tourism have brought double-digit economic growth, but Cambodia remains one of the world’s poorest countries.

His administration is mired in corruption and Hun Sen is frequently the target of criticism that he tramples basic rights to keep his grip on power.

In 1993, he manhandled victory away from the country’s royalists following Cambodia’s first elections, backed by the United Nations.

He secured a power-sharing deal with the royalists, but ultimately ousted them in a bloody 1997 coup.

Hundreds of people were killed in the run-up to elections the following year. Protests against Hun Sen’s victory were put down violently.

The last national election in 2003 was far less violent, but plunged the kingdom into a year of political stalemate as parties wrangled over forming a coalition.

This year’s campaign is much calmer than the past, possibly because Hun Sen no longer faces any major rivals.

Copyright © 2008 The China Post.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/other/2008/07/21/166473/Cambodia’s-Hun.htm

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Burma's Geopolitics

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