Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for July 8th, 2008

World focus on Burma (8-7-2008)

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The power for change ultimately lies within ourselves

Irish Times, Ireland –

Of course, as the victims of the Chinese earthquake and the cyclone in Burma know only too well, external events and situations can profoundly affect our …

Families still waiting for news of detained relatives

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 8, 2008 (DVB)–The families of Zarganar, Zaw Thet Htway and others involved in voluntary aid work for cyclone victims who were arrested by Burmese …

Junta Profits from Growing Gap in Value of Cash and FECs

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

All international aid agencies working in Burma are required to deposit money for operating expenses in accounts at the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB). …

Karenni refugees flee to Thai-Burma border, India –

Chiang Mai – The Burmese Army’s severe human rights violations have forced 165 Karenni refugees to flee to refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border this …

Most Ceasefire Groups Undecided on 2010 Election

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Recently, the Burmese regime published an article in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar calling the landslide victory of the National League for …

Labor Activist Gets Solitary as Prison Conditions Worsen

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP), told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that Su Su Nway, a prominent labor …

Burma aid tents through at last

BBC News, UK –

Cornwall-based disaster aid charity Shelterbox has just received the first pictures of its aid helping victims of the Burma cyclone. …

ABFSU urges flexibility for late university admissions

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 8, 2008 (DVB)–The All Burma Federation of Student Unions called on the military regime on Monday to allow university students from cyclone-devastated …

Burma grants visas to aid workers

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said that as of June 30, the regime had given 1670 visas, mainly to United Nations and other international aid …

Editorial: Bush right to attend opening ceremonies

Dallas Morning News, TX –

The opening ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics will begin just weeks from today, and, to the chagrin of human rights protesters, President Bush will …

Cycling ride in Prague protests against China’s approach to Tibet

Prague Daily Monitor, Czech Republic –

“The goal of the relay cycling ride is to draw attention to the long-term violation of human rights in China, Tibet and Burma, and the discrepancy between …

Surin says Burma, food crises strengthen Asean

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Manila (dpa) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has emerged stronger in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis that whipped Burma and the rice crisis …

Burma junta approves visas for 1670 cyclone aid workers

Scotsman, United Kingdom –

The state media of the country, also known as Myanmar, said half of the workers were involved in relief operations in storm-hit regions. …

Regime Says It Granted Visas to 1670 Relief Workers, Officials

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

According to a report in the government mouthpiece The New Light of Myanmar, 1076 UN personnel and non-governmental organization workers had entered Burma …

Asia’s angry monk syndrome

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –

Monks were also in the forefront of protests in colonial Burma before the country now known as Myanmar won independence from Britain in 1948. …

3G arrives in Rangoon

TeleGeography, DC –

… Burma’s military junta authorities have begun distributing W-CDMA handsets. Citing an official at the Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) …

Why the Generals are Winning

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By KYAW ZWA MOE This year is the 20th anniversary of the democracy movement in Burma. In 1988, a few small student protests against late dictator Ne Win’s …

Burma army calls for a fresh start

Metro, UK –

Burma’s military government says that the country’s new constitution – approved in a widely criticised referendum in May – has removed the legitimacy of …

Sons of 1962 and future of Burma’s political freedom, India –

By Ma Ng- The Burmese Army grabbed political power in a coup on 2 March 1962; and Burma again lost its political freedom 14 years after independence, …

Myanmar: 1500 visas issued after cyclone

The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s military regime has approved visas for more than 1500 international aid workers to help victims of Cyclone Nargis, …

Myanmar promises better homes for cyclone victims

Daily Times, Pakistan –

YANGON: Myanmar’s premier promised better housing for cyclone victims in the devastated Irrawaddy Delta, where many people have received only a plastic …

ASEAN science meet goes green, Philippines –

The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam comprise the ASEAN.

Only One in Five Women in Developing World Receive Effective …

Voice of America –

If you look at rates in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, or Burma, Myanmar, 90 percent of women had never had a pelvic exam. And only 1 percent of women had been …

Time to play hardball with South Africa

Across the Aisle, DC –

While there have been many tragedies recently ranging from the cyclone in Burma to the earthquake in China, the fact that this disaster is entirely man made …

Burmese refugees find safety in Austin

Austin American-Statesman, TX –

Here in Austin, he wants people to know about Burma, how people are being oppressed and how innocent people are denied human rights. …

David Miliband’s lecture at Unisa

Politicsweb, South Africa –

Democracies are also more likely to respect human rights, more likely to support open trade, and less likely to go to war. The question I believe we should …

To Breathe Free: Living Up to our Promise

Human Rights First, NY –

This kind of system is inconsistent with this country’s commitments under international human rights standards, as well as its principles of justice and …

Asian empires, past and present
China Post, Taiwan –
China claims leadership in ushering in an ASEAN-plus-Three pact. Members include all states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, …

China and Thailand: Enhancing Military-Security Ties in the 21st …
Jamestown Foundation, DC –
While the United States publicly criticized the overthrow of the democratically elected government and suspended $24 million in military aid, China declared …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 8, 2008 at 3:08 am

The United Nations doesn’t serve Democracy

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Posted by Lawrence J. Haas July 07, 2008 05:26AM

Categories: Opinion

UN headquarters in New York.

Haas is vice president of the Committee on the Present Danger

WASHINGTON — The Fourth of July reminds us not only to celebrate our democracy but also to assess the most serious challenges to it. These days, those challenges emanate less from home than abroad, and the United States should take appropriate action on the world stage to defend itself.

Rising autocracies in China and Russia as well as Islamist regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere are confronting the United States and its allies more aggressively. They have far different notions of freedom, democracy and human rights and, left to their own devices, they would create a world far less hospitable to our values.

The United Nations, meanwhile, is increasingly unwilling to promote those values, which we believe would create a safer world for America and a more prosperous one for people across the globe.

Consequently, the United States and other democracies lack an effective institution through which to pool their resources, identify their challenges, and define a strategy to protect their interests. It is well past time for America to lead the effort to create one.

Despite the outrage that it evokes in some U.N.-loving quarters, a so-called League of Democracies is hardly a new idea. Experts date it to the 18th-century Prussian philosopher Emanuel Kant and his notion of “perpetual peace.”

Nor, despite its strong endorsement by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, is the idea identified with just one political party. It was promoted by the Clinton and then Bush administrations, and it draws support from foreign policy experts of the right and left, be they members of Congress, former diplomats, or scholars.

Clearly, the United Nations is not working for America and its allies. It is neither defusing the most urgent threats facing the West nor responding to humanitarian disasters that offend our sensibilities.

In the 192-member General Assembly, such blocs as the 115-member Non-Aligned Movement and the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference can gather the votes to thwart U.S. priorities. In the Security Council, any of five permanent members can veto U.S. proposals for collective action to confront threats to peace.

On the threat front, the Security Council continues to block the tough sanctions that might convince Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. Permanent members Russia and China each have growing business ties with the Islamic Republic as well as a shared geopolitical interest in keeping the United States mired in a struggle with the Islamic Republic.

That means that the United States and its European allies, who face increasingly bold threats from Tehran, are subjecting their security to the whims of competing powers with competing interests.

On the humanitarian front, the Security Council could not agree on collective action to stop the killing in Rwanda, the Balkans, or Darfur, or the brutal suppression in Burma and Zimbabwe.

This will not do. The United States should jeopardize neither its security nor its values at the altar of a global body whose members resent America’s overwhelming power and influence.

The answer, however, is not for the United States just to act alone. Even our closest allies have little appetite for American unilateralism. And though uniquely powerful, the United States still can accomplish more in this world by working in partnership with our allies.

Thus, we need another global institution, one that truly represents the shared interests of the world’s democracies and, when the time for collective action has arrived, could legitimize it on the world stage.

To critics who worry that a League of Democracies would anger Russia, China, and others who would feel disenfranchised, here’s the answer in one word: “Good.”

For what’s true of corporations is true of public institutions: Competition can provide a useful jolt, convincing institutions to change and offering useful alternatives to those that refuse to do so.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 8, 2008 at 3:03 am