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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for July 3rd, 2008

Myanmar cyclone victims saved from traffickers

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — More than 80 women and children who were victims of Myanmar’s recent cyclone have been rescued from human traffickers scheming to smuggle them to neighboring countries, a media report said Thursday.

Border police caught the traffickers, who had taken victims of Cyclone Nargis from the Irrawaddy delta to border areas, between June 11 and 14, the well-regarded biweekly journal Eleven reported, citing police.

Police Lt. Col. Rahlyan Mone, from the force’s human trafficking division, told the Yangon-based journal that victims facing hardship are being enticed with job offers abroad by traffickers disguised as aid workers.

Police and other authorities who deal with human trafficking could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cross-border trafficking, especially to Thailand, has grown in recent years as people in one of the world’s poorest nations seek opportunities elsewhere but are often tricked or coerced into prostitution or sweatshops.

The ruling junta has warned against exploitation of cyclone victims and urged the public to report any evidence of human trafficking.

Myanmar introduced an anti-human trafficking law in September 2005 that imposes a maximum penalty of death.

Local and foreign aid officials fear that trafficking could increase in the wake of the cyclone, which hit Myanmar May 2 to 3, killing more than 84,500 people and leaving nearly 54,000 missing, according to the government.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gI1cg5b06O8LRFuWlWqH8-iiPz4gD91M9IMG0

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

World focus on Burma (3 July 2008)

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Cyclone refugees ordered to leave camps

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 3, 2008 (DVB)–The regional police chief in the Labutta area of Irrawaddy division has ordered five centres for cyclone refugees to be cleared out by the …

Let us not praise coups

United Press International, Asia, China –

By Awzar Thi Hong Kong, China — An Oxford economics professor said in a recent Washington Post article that the best hope for either Burma or Zimbabwe is …

Tripartite core group aid helps 1.3 mln storm victims

Xinhua, China –

The tripartite core group worked for ten days from June 11 to 20 to make the joint assessment on the impact of cyclone Nargis that devastated Myanmar. …

ABFSU woman member produced before court for eighth time

Mizzima.com, India –

Chiang Mai – ‘The All Burma Federation of Students’ Union’ (ABFSU) student Ma Hanny Tun, who is in judicial custody, was produced for the eighth time …

Motorcycle Licenses Introduced in Most of Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The addition of a “contribution” to cyclone relief is being questioned by some motorcycle owners. One Rangoon economist said it was suspected that the money …

Foreign Volunteer Told to Leave Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

These connections have also helped Myanmar Egress. “It got permission from the authorities to do Cyclone Nargis relief work that other private relief …

Construction Sites Abandoned in Naypyidaw

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By MIN LWIN Construction in Burma’s capital, Naypyidaw, is practically at a standstill and many buildings have been left half-built as construction …

An Alternative Road Map is Needed Now

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By AUNG ZAW The road map introduced by the Burmese regime in Burma is in reality nothing other than its own exit strategy. Burma’s paramount leader Snr-Gen …

Journalists Arrested, Detained for Nargis Reporting

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

They know the full extent of the Cyclone Nargis story, but they can’t report it to the Burmese people because of the military regime’s draconian censorship …

Myanmar cyclone victims saved from traffickers

The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — More than 80 women and children who were victims of Myanmar’s recent cyclone have been rescued from human traffickers scheming to …

Cyclone-ravaged Burma `still in the life-saving phase’

Toronto Star,  Canada –

And, says Michael Bociurkiw, Burma – also known as Myanmar – is still in a humanitarian crisis. “The (Irrawaddy) delta is a patchwork quilt of rivers and …

2nd press release of the tripartite core group “further inroad to …

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

The Tripartite Core Group (TCG) of ASEAN, Government of the Union of Myanmar, and the United Nations has been meeting regularly to monitor, coordinate and …

Burma’s Sham Referendum

Shan Herald Agency for News, Thailand –

By Sean Asbley While the world sat fixated on the destruction caused by cyclone Nargis, the Burmese junta pushed ahead with a national referendum to approve …

Nigeria: Gambari Gets Cold Feet Over Niger Delta

AllAfrica.com, Washington –

Gambari, currently the UN Special Envoy to Myanmar (former Burma) was released to the Nigerian government by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. …

HICKMAN: Hot summer picks from local readers

Attleboro Sun Chronicle, MA –

… set amidst the rebels in Myanmar (Burma).” Audrey Craig’s Rhode Island book group had high praise for Beryl Markham’s 1942 book (reviewed here in 2005). …

Forget us versus them

Los Angeles Times, CA –

In recent months, Myanmar and Zimbabwe have shown just how powerless friends of freedom can be if powerful neighbors put state sovereignty and their …

N’Delta: Gambari to Consult Yar’Adua, Jonathan

This Day, Nigeria –

NAN reports that Gambari, currently the UN Special Envoy to Myanmar (former Burma) and the International Compact with Iraq, was released to the Nigerian …

Glimmers of change in Myanmar, but ruling junta’s grip remains …

International Herald Tribune, France –

Steinberg said the junta constantly trumpet achievements in modernizing the isolated and impoverished Southeast Asian nation formerly named Burma. …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

World focus on Burma (2 July 2008)

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Interview: Indian NDA will consider Burma a priority

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

DVB: The international community channelled aid to cyclone victims through UN agencies because they didn’t trust the military regime, while the Indian …

What Can I Possibly Do?

Reader’s Digest, NY –

By Carol Kaufmann Subscribe To This Blog I haven’t seen much of Burma these days. When Cyclone Nargis soaked the southern portion of the country May 2 and 3 …

Hearing of Ecovision reporter case fixed for July

Mizzima.com, India –

Chiang Mai – Burma’s authorities on Tuesday remanded Eint Khaing Oo, a reporter of a Rangoon based Weekly Journal ‘Ecovision’, who was arrested while …

Damaged monastery forced to turn down students

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

… in Rangoon’s South Okkalapa township has been unable to accept new students due to a lack of funding to repair damage caused by the cyclone in May. …

Cyclone victims still need help

Peterborough Today, UK – J

By Tara Dundon A CITY charity is appealing for more funds to help survivors of the Burma cyclone in a bid to continue vital relief and rehabilitation work. …

Burmese Officials Ordered to Listen to Exile Broadcasts

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

In the past few weeks, the official media has been countering negative reports on Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath with news about government assistance to …

Talk of the Town

Pattaya Today, Thailand –

Former PILC president Roseanne Diamente is now organising help for the distressed people of Burma in areas badly hit by the cyclone. …

Heightened global security threat from natural disasters requires …

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Most recently, the Sichuan earthquake in China affected 15 million people and cyclone Nargis which struck Burma in May affected approximately 2.4 million …

No words necessary: The cartoonists tackle climate change

Independent, UK –

Two cartoons were sent from Burma, where in May this year a cyclone tore through five regions along the western coast, killing at least 100000 people, …

view: Empire of human rights —Ian Buruma

Daily Times, Pakistan –

The two recent natural disasters in Burma and China have put this idea to a severe test. China has not fared too badly, largely because its government was …

Faith briefs

South Bend Tribune, IN –

SOUTH BEND — In May, Feeding the Nations sent $25000 to missionaries on the ground in Myanmar (Burma) to purchase food and water. Now, according to a recent …

The Politics of Rice

The Island (subscription), Sri Lanka –

A week after Cyclone Nargis struck Burma in May, Ma Mya Ayes was queuing for food in Labutta. Ma Ayes and a small group of villagers waited for two days in …

UN firm on commitment to change in Burma

Mizzima.com, India –

… “you have my firm commitment and assurance that I will work very hard to help the people of Myanmar [Burma] enjoy genuine freedom and democracy. …

Refer to a friend

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –

1995 – Opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is freed from house arrest in Rangoon, Burma, now known as Yangon, Myanmar, …

Myanmar tightens security; puts public on alert after bomb blast

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

The junta blamed those blasts on an armed exiled student group, Vigorous Burma Student Warriors, who oppose military rule. Other bombs and shootings since …

Myanmar steps up surveillance as protest dates loom

Daily Times, Pakistan –

The USDA is a social organisation founded by the former Burma’s ruling generals in 1993 and now claiming 24 million members – an unlikely figure given that …

Arctic Lessons

The Conservative Voice, NC –

BSZ: The junta in Burma and the Chinese Communist Party aren’t so very different in their mindset from the military governments that governed Alaska early …

Faith briefs

South Bend Tribune, IN –

SOUTH BEND — In May, Feeding the Nations sent $25000 to missionaries on the ground in Myanmar (Burma) to purchase food and water. Now, according to a recent …

States Divest From Businesses Tied to Iran

Arms Control Today – 20 hours ago

During the 1990s, humanitarian activists persuaded Massachusetts to divest from companies “doing business with” Burma (Myanmar). More recently, almost 30 …

Hearing of Ecovision reporter case fixed for July

Mizzima.com, India – 23 hours ago

… Myanmar Nation Weekly were arrested for possessing a copy of Human Rights Report by Mr. Pinheirro, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Burma, …

‘Warriors’ claim responsibility for Rangoon blast

Mizzima.com, India –

The statement further said, they have been launching an operation against Burma’s military rulers and that it had exploded two bombs on April 20, …

Ireland gives more than half a million euro to Myanmar (Burma) and …

Reuters AlertNet, UK –

“This money will make a real difference to those who we are helping in Myanmar and China and I would like to thank the people of Ireland for their very …

SEA View – A week in review for Southeast Asia

CSR Asia, China –

(Asia Pulse, June 26) Mining in Myanmar ruining environment Indiscriminate mining for jade and gems in northern Burma is destroying the ecology and …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 3, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Myanmar politics roiled, but junta grip firm

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In this Oct. 18, 2006 file photo, a Buddhist monk prays at the Swedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. While Myanmar’s ruling generals show no signs of losing a decades-old grip on power despite their handling of the recent cyclone disaster many experts see the 500,000-strong Buddhist monkhood as the only viable national institution after the army. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)

In this Oct. 12, 2006 file photo, Buddhist Monks prepare to make their rounds in Yangon, Myanmar. While Myanmar’s ruling generals show no signs of losing a decades-old grip on power despite their handling of the recent cyclone disaster many experts see the 500,000-strong Buddhist monkhood as the only viable national institution after the army. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — The cyclone that devastated Myanmar’s heartland has also roiled a political landscape dominated by the military for more than four decades.

Buddhist monks are regrouping after the battering they took nine months ago, civil society groups are emerging and foreign aid workers — often agents of political change in the wake of humanitarian crises — are present in unprecedented numbers.

The junta’s grip on power remains absolute. But anger against the regime has probably never run so high.

“Perhaps incremental change will emerge from engagement on humanitarian problems,” said Joel Charny, vice president of U.S.-based Refugees International who visited Myanmar just before the cyclone struck.

People were already incensed by the brutal suppression last September of anti-government demonstrators, including the country’s revered, saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Then came Cyclone Nargis, exposing the junta as inept and heartless, initially blocking international aid efforts and even now still hampering them.

“The people are blaming the government. They are responsible for many deaths. They don’t care about right or wrong and they let people die just to hold onto power,” said Aung Myoe, a 32-year-old driver in a comment typical of the mood in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

“In the `Saffron Revolution’ they lost their Buddhist legitimacy; with the cyclone they lost whatever concept of efficacy they had with the public,” said David Steinberg, a Myanmar expert at Georgetown.

Steinberg said the junta constantly trumpet achievements in modernizing the isolated and impoverished Southeast Asian nation formerly named Burma.

Analysts say these passions and emerging trends may in the longer term loosen the junta’s grip on power. But for now it’s business as usual: dissidents are arrested, a brutal campaign against ethnic minorities rages on and the military strides toward elections guaranteed to perpetuate its control.

But the 500,000-strong Buddhist monkhood, the only viable national institution after the army, is regaining strength and cohesion by assuming a leading role in helping cyclone survivors.

Their work is seconded by quietly burgeoning civil society groups, which Steinberg said could foster pluralism and democracy in the future. These groups include professional guilds, including those of actors and singers, charity organizations and loose associations of like-minded citizens.

So could the influx of foreign aid workers and agencies in what may be the most intense interaction Myanmar has experienced with the outside world since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1948.

The operative word is “incremental.” Analysts don’t foresee meaningful political changes in the short run, discounting a dramatic turn of events, such as social upheaval in face of cyclone-induced rice shortages, or a split within the military.

The regime will be hard-pressed to provide enough rice to keep its 400,000 troops and their families loyal and ensure that shortages, which could last several years, don’t trigger major popular unrest as they have in the past, said Donald Seekins, a Myanmar watcher at Japan’s Meio University.

Meanwhile, the junta marches forward along its so-called “road map to democracy.” Elections are scheduled in 2010, based on a referendum-approved Constitution which guarantees the military 25 percent of parliamentary seats and power to run the country in event of a national emergency.

The cyclone response, the referendum and the extension of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention for a sixth year all sparked international outcry, but the absence of U.N. or other foreign action reassured the junta it needn’t fear outside intervention.

“The people of Myanmar would have been happy if the United States or France invaded,” said Ye Htun, a 30-year-old English teacher. “In Myanmar, the government is too strong and people are too scared. We can’t do it alone.”

Denis Gray, AP bureau chief in Bangkok, has covered Myanmar since the mid-1970s.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i_SmRIR98kO5R_QpLJeY8qECJGRQD91LIH7O0

Soldiers march during 62nd annual Armed Forces Day ceremonies Tuesday, March 27, 2007, in the capital city of Naypyidaw, Myanmar. The cyclone that devastated Myanmar’s heartland has also roiled a political landscape dominated by the military for more than four decades. But the ruling junta’s grip on power remains. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

In this March 27, 2007 file photo, Myanmar’s ruling leader Senior Gen Than Shwe salutes soldiers during 62nd annual Armed Forces Day ceremonies in the capital city of Naypyidaw, Myanmar. People rage against them and the outside world adds a chorus of damning criticism, but Myanmar’s ruling generals show no signs of losing a decades-old grip on power despite their inept and heartless handling of the cyclone disaster. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)

Myanmar junta leaders Gen. Thura Shwe, left, Lt. Gen. Thein Sein, center and Lt. Gen Kyaw Win, right, look on during 62nd annual Armed Forces Day ceremonies Tuesday, March 27, 2007, in the capital city of Naypyidaw, Myanmar. The cyclone that devastated Myanmar’s heartland has also roiled a political landscape dominated by the military for more than four decades. But the ruling junta’s grip on power remains. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 3, 2008 at 1:14 am