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Archive for July 24th, 2008

Karazdic caught, attention turns to Mladic

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Ratko Mladic, pictured in 1994

Radovan Karadzic FLASH GRAPHIC

BELGRADE (AFP) — With war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic finally in custody, Serbia came under increased pressure Thursday to capture his fugitive wartime military chief Ratko Mladic, also wanted for genocide.

“The Serbs are making a step forward in closing an ugly chapter in their past, and I just hope that Mladic is next,” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Singapore during an Asian tour.

Karadzic, disguised under flowing white locks of hair and thick beard, was arrested while riding a suburban bus in Belgrade on Monday night.

He is set to be moved to the UN war crimes court in the next few days despite mounting a legal challenge against the transfer from his prison cell in the Serbian capital.

The wartime Bosnian Serb leader intends to defend himself in the trial, raising concerns of a chaotic, marathon case like that of his former ally, Slobodan Milosevic, who died in detention at The Hague-based tribunal in 2006.

Karadzic, 63, had gone into hiding the year after he was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1995 together with Mladic, 65.

Both face charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, willful killing, persecutions, deportation and inhumane acts against Muslims, Croats and other non-Serb civilians during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

As more details emerged about the fake life Karadzic led as a guru healer to avoid being caught during more than a decade on the run, Rice said his arrest was a major “step forward for Serbia.”

“It showed tremendous will on the part of this new Serbian government, and I just hope there will be accelerated efforts” to help Belgrade in its bid for integration into the European Union, Rice said on a tour of Asia.

Full cooperation with the ICTY is the European Union’s main pre-condition for Serbia’s EU accession bid, and several bloc members oppose any advancement of its integration until the two remaining fugitives are caught.

The think-tank International Crisis Group on Thursday warned Brussels against rewarding Belgrade for Karadzic’s arrest until Mladic and Croatian Serb war crimes fugitive Goran Hadzic are sent to The Hague.

“The government should take advantage of the momentum and arrest the last two remaining indictees, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, by the end of this year,” the analyst James Lyon said in a commentary on the ICG website.

“Until it does so, the European Union should hold off on offering concessions or incentives.”

Meanwhile, Serbian police launched an investigation into the network that helped Karadzic remain at large for so long, thanks to his new identity as a long-haired alternative medicine practitioner.

Karadzic had assumed the identity of Dragan Dabic, an individual who was still alive in northern Serbian town Ruma, said Serbian Minister in charge of cooperation with the ICTY Rasim Ljajic.

Personal data on the identity cards of both men were the “same,” Ljajic told Beta news agency.

“The photos were the only difference between the two identity cards,” Ljajic said.

And Dabic himself told Tanjug news agency that the only similarities between him and Karadzic were that both had been born in 1942, were married and have two children.

“These are my only similarities with Karadzic, we do not even look alike,” said retired worker Dabic.

Karadzic’s lawyer Svetozar Vujacic insisted again that his client had been arrested on Friday in a local bus, confronting official statement that had put the arrest on Monday.

“Three witnesses in the bus are ready to testify,” Vujacic said, adding that he had, in the name of his client, filed a charge against unknown persons for “kidnapping Radovan Karadzic.”

For the third consecutive day, about 1,000 ultra-nationalists gathered in central Belgrade for a protest against Karadzic’s arrest.

Under heavy police scrutiny, they marched along central Belgrade avenues, chanting Karadzic’s name and shouting insults towards Serbian pro-European authorities and journalists covering the protest.

Vujacic said he would file an appeal against his client’s transfer to the ICTY at the last minute, to drag out the process.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hRIPicf1Y51aPOgWSR7GpSxkahgg

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm

SAPA: Analysis of the ASEAN Charter

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This post is re-distributed on my log for people who are interested in ASEAN and its new charter.

…………………….

Analysis of the ASEAN Charter

Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacies (SAPA)

18 Nov 07

http://www.asiasapa.org

The Charter has not been officially made public, but copies were leaked to the media on November 7th. It is expected to be signed by the ASEAN leaders during their 13th Summit in Singapore on November 20th.

When the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that it will embark on a process of building a Charter to formalize its agreements and establish its legal framework, civil society groups paid attention. While ASEAN has been generally inaccessible and non-transparent, national and regional CSOs and social movements saw the strategic value of engaging the Charter process. We saw it as a space to stake claims on ASEAN and to demand accountability for its actions. We saw the Charter building process as an anchor for discussing ASEAN and generating interest on what the Association does. By engaging the process, CSOs and social movements hoped to pry open possibilities for transforming ASEAN into a rules-based organization that would work for the mutual benefit not only of ASEAN states but of ASEAN peoples and communities as well.

The Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacies (SAPA) Working Group on ASEAN invested time and energy to engage the ASEAN Charter building process. SAPA WG on ASEAN made three formal submissions to the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) – on the Political-Security Pillar (EPG consultation, Ubud, Bali/April 2006), on the Economic Pillar (EPG consultation, Singapore/June 2006), and on the Socio-Cultural Pillar and Institutional Mechanisms (Meeting with Ambassador Rosario Manalo, Special Adviser to Mr. Fidel V. Ramos, EPG Member for the Philippines, Manila/November 2006). The WG also participated in the only regional consultation held by the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the drafting of the ASEAN Charter in March 2007 in Manila, and reiterated the main points of its submissions. Aside from the regional consultations that the SAPA WG on ASEAN worked hard to intervene in, the different network members also initiated national processes in 2006 and 2007 to help introduce ASEAN to civil society and inform them of the Charter that was being drafted.

The Charter drafting had been kept away from public access and scrutiny, making difficult any engagement in the process. The Charter will be signed on November 20th during the 13th Leaders Summit, but it was only on November 7th, when a copy of the final draft adopted by the High Level Task Force on the drafting of the ASEAN Charter was leaked to the media, that the Charter finally became known to the public.

The Charter is a disappointment. It is a document that falls short of what is needed to establish a “people-centered” and “people-empowered” ASEAN. It succeeds in codifying past ASEAN agreements, and consolidating the legal framework that would define the Association. However, it fails to put people at the center, much less empower them. The Charter is all about how Governments will interact with each other, but not about how they also should interact with the people. There are no clear spaces created or procedures established to institutionalize the role of citizens and civil society organizations in regional community-building. And where the Charter is able to protect sovereign interest of Governments, and enshrine confidence building though consensus, it lacks the necessary details for the settlement of disputes, dealing with internal conflicts, and disciplining or sanctioning Members who are remiss in their obligations.

The market-oriented language of the Charter expresses its bias for the economic project in the region, without recognition that this may be in conflict with the social and economic justice that the Charter is also supposed to uphold. The centrality of redistribution and economic solidarity to the goals of poverty eradication, social justice and lasting peace, is not acknowledged. Furthermore, the market orientation betrays the preference for a “one-size fits all” economic policy of trade and financial liberalization, failing to recognize the heterodox economic thinking that formed the basis of economic successes in the region in the past.

The Charter is gender blind and does not recognize the primacy of the regional environment.

Finally, the landmark inclusion of human rights in the Preamble and in the statement of Principles is belied by the lack of detail in the long-awaited human rights body.

Following are the SAPA WG on ASEAN’s specific comments on the Charter:

Preamble

1. The opening paragraph sets the tone for the entire Charter, highlighting the priority of the government over the individual citizen. A truly people-centered ASEAN should establish that governments are there to serve the needs and interests of citizens, and governments who fail in their duties and responsibilities should not be protected by ASEAN. A braver opening line should read, “WE, THE PEOPLES of ASEAN”, rather than “WE, THE PEOPLES of the Member States of ASEAN”.

2. Human rights are overarching and should form the basic principle of ASEAN from which all other principles flow. In this sense, human rights should be integral in all the work of ASEAN. Instead, human rights is placed low down on the list as a specific issue in Articles 1 and 2), and, symbolically, placed beneath the principles of sovereignty and non-interference.

3. While the Preamble and Chapter 1 uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms, the draft Charter only explicitly states adherence to the UN Charter, International Law and international humanitarian law, but does not explicitly recognize universally accepted human rights principles, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recently signed international agreements that expand on human rights, norms and standards. The reference to adherence to the “rule of law, good governance and the principles of democracy and constitutional government” in Article 2h, however, may be a good handle to demand for the implementation of these principles in every member-state, especially in the case of Burma.

4. No mention is made of the role of ASEAN in the protection of the environment.

Chapters 1: Purposes and Principles

5. Article 1.5 and Article 2n, related to market and trade, are the most bothersome. These provisions explicitly talk only about “facilitating the movement of business persons and professionals”, “the free-flow of capital”, and “the elimination of all barriers to market-driven economy”, but do not provide at all for the promotion of redistributive justice, poverty eradication and growth with equity – ideals equally important to advance in a regional set-up, nor do they recognize social dialogue and core labor standards. These also fail to give importance to the role state instruments and cooperation in achieving social goals.

6. The same paragraph mentions the movement of “business persons, professional, talents, labour” but does not make explicit reference to migrant workers who make up a significant part of regional labor flows. There is also no reference to the movement of other people such as asylum seekers.

7. Article 1.7 qualifies the promotion and protection of human rights “with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN”. This wording is dangerous, because it undermines the fundamental elements of the universality and inalienability of human rights. It is not made clear what these “rights and responsibilities” of member states are, leaving the way open for governments to violate human rights in the pursuit of their self-defined “national interest”.

8. The provision on sustainable development, protection of the region’s environment and sustainability of natural resources in Article 1.9 was put in the same plane as the reference to “high quality of life of its people”, clearly reinforcing the dominance of the economic agenda of the ASEAN over environmentally sustainable development.

9. Most of the statements are mother/parenthood statements and much is left to further interpretation and how it is going to be concretely operationalized in the ASEAN. Does the language in Article 1.4 referring to “just, democratic, harmonious environment” and Article 1.11 on “…providing them with equitable access to opportunities for….justice” translate to agrarian reform/access and control over natural resources? Will the language in Article 9 on “sustainable development” mean the upliftment of the lives of small-scale farmers, fishers, and the rest of the rural poor and the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the non-promotion of the chemical intensive, bio-technology/GMO agriculture? Does Article 1.13 on “people-oriented ASEAN” include all sectors, including organizations of the rural and urban poor, as well as semi-skilled workers, including migrant workers?

10. While Article 1.13 states that participation of all peoples is encouraged, nowhere in the Chapter does it explicitly state how this will be actualized. The Charter does not create consultative and advisory mechanisms comprised of non-state actors and civil society groups, with adequate representation from all sectors. Neither does it create a mechanism for regularly engaging citizens within the region.

11. Article 1.14 needs to make specific reference to indigenous peoples, rather than simply referring to “diverse culture” which is too general.

12. Article 2.2e needs to establish that states also have a “responsibility to protect”, that is, the responsibility to protect people from gross violations of human rights. All ASEAN heads of state and government accepted this concept of the “responsibility to protect” at the UN World Summit in September 2005.

13. Article 2.2h/i makes no mention as to what happens, such as sanctions, if states do not adhere “to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of democracy and constitutional government” or “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.”

Chapter 3: Membership

14. The principle of non-interference (Preamble, Chapter 1, Article 2e/f) that characterizes the “ASEAN Way” is further reaffirmed in the Charter. However, we believe that exceptions must be made for clearly defined regional standards for state behavior, particularly on human rights and environment, serious breaches of which may carry ASEAN-imposed sanctions.

15. While on the whole we agree that there should be equality of rights and obligations among Members, there should also be a socializing factor whereby better resourced members are able to contribute to special funds to assist other members in the spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and regional redistribution.

Chapter 4: Organs

16. The Charter provides for the establishment of a human rights body, committing all member states to its creation. However, no further details are included regarding the setting up of the body, its roles and responsibilities, or the timeframe for its creation. Considering the more than a decade of work many sectors have put into the creation of an ASEAN human rights mechanism, the Charter should have had more details in it, and not run the risk of making this landmark provision inconsequential in operation.

17. There will be more meetings (of the ASEAN Leaders and the Foreign Ministers, and of the new organs created in the Charter), but it is unclear how these additional meetings and new organs will bring about a people-centered ASEAN. Almost all of the organs remain state- or government-oriented.

18. Article 15 redefines the role of the ASEAN Foundation as a collaborator with the different ASEAN bodies in support of “community-building’. It is only under this article that “civil society” is mentioned. This redefinition seems to imply that the ASEAN Foundation now becomes captured by purely official ASEAN agenda. Whereas before CSOs could apply for support without getting ASEAN accreditation or approval (and the ASEAN Secretariat sits only ex-officio in the Board), the ASEAN Foundation now becomes an internal entity to serve official ASEAN agenda.

19. In outlining the main decision making organs within ASEAN, there is not a single mention of engagement with citizens and civil society (except in the context of the ASEAN Foundation), or the means by which citizens and civil society can influence decisions and processes of the ASEAN.

20. Gender equality in the choice of officials in the ASEAN bodies is only mentioned under the provisions on the Secretary General, but is absent everywhere else.

Chapter 5: Entities Associated with ASEAN

21. Unfortunately we are unable to obtain a copy of the annexes, including Annex 2 which supposedly lists the entities associated with ASEAN. The expectation is that this is where citizens and civil society participation is institutionalized in the ASEAN, but even this is not certain. Like a few other bodies created in the Charter, the entities mentioned here are yet undefined, with rules and criteria for engagement still to be determined by the yet to be formed Committee of Permanent Representatives.

Chapter 7: Decision-Making

22. Chapter 7 still puts premium on consensus as the institutional and the preferred mode of decision-making. The affirmation of consultation and consensus actually encourages unanimity based on the least common denominator, and leaves much room for recalcitrant members to sabotage any consensus building processes around democratic values and the principles of the rule of law and good governance. Furthermore, to leave it to the ASEAN Summit to decide on a specific decision making process should consensus not be achieved allows for even greater leeway for political accommodation for which the ASEAN is historically known.

23. The Charter does not specify any space for citizens and civil society groups in policy-and decision-making, detracting from the essence of consultation and consensus-building by not affirming the people-centered principle of building regional identity through people’s participation.

24. Chapter 7 Article 21 leaves the prescription of each ASEAN Community Council’s rules of procedure to each council. There should be a mechanism to standardize the procedures for all councils.

Chapter 8: Settlement of Disputes

25. Disputes implied in the Charter only cover conflicts between and among ASEAN states, and do not address internal conflicts which are also significant in the region.

26. Except for disputes concerning economic agreements, for which the ASEAN Protocol for Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism shall govern, the Charter provides for the establishment of dispute settlement mechanisms but for which no process or timeframe has been prescribed.

27. The issue of compliance is not addressed organically, except for cases to be referred to the ASEAN Summit for decision, limiting the efficacy of the to-be-established DSMs because the Summit by practice would yield to political exigencies.

28. The Charter does not recognize the need to establish conflict prevention and early warning mechanisms at the regional level with the involvement of citizens and civil society with demonstrated capacity to assist in conflict situations.

Chapter 9: Budget and Finance

29. Aside from provisions on “internal and external audit”, the Charter does not provide clear mechanisms for how the budget and finance of the Association can be made transparent and accessible to the public.

Chapter 10: Administration and Procedure

30. The ASEAN Charter does not mention how Chairmanship by countries whose leadership faces legitimacy questions shall be dealt with.

31. The choice of English as the working language of ASEAN, without reference to the use of regional languages for at least some purposes, leaves a big gap in terms of the need to promote national languages as a means to promote and protect the cultural heritage of the region.

32. The Charter does not provide for clear mechanisms for transparency and access to official information, and official processes, in the ASEAN.

Chapter 12: External Relations

33. Article 41.4 states that “in the conduct of external relations of ASEAN, Member States shall, on the basis of unity and solidarity, coordinate and Endeavour a common position and pursue joint actions”. This is a bold statement that affirms the centrality of ASEAN. Considering the less-than-unified positions espoused by individual Member Countries in multilateral fora (e.g. the WTO) in the past, it is interesting to know how the ASEAN would go about crafting common positions after the Charter is signed.

34. Consistent with the overall absence of the role of citizens and civil society in ASEAN, the Charter does not say anything about their role in helping ASEAN to develop and to determine its foreign policy, and in determining the status of external partners of ASEAN.

35. Considering the importance of migrant workers and their families in the conduct of ASEAN’s external relations, the absence of any mention about labor mobility as an issue to be discussed with external partners is glaring.

Chapter 13: General and Final Provisions

36. It is provided that the “Charter shall be subject to ratification by all ASEAN member states in accordance with their respective internal procedure”. This is short of what the Second and Third ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC-II and III) called for, which is ratification by popular referendum.

37. The provision on Review (Article 50) only gives the requisite timeline (of five years after the Charter enters into force) but no clear procedures for its conduct, including who will be involved and how extensive such involvement would be.

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The Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacies (SAPA) is an open platform for consultation, cooperation and coordination among and between Asian social movements and civil society organizations including NGOs, people organizations and trade unions who are engaged in action, advocacy and lobbying at the level of inter-governmental processes and organizations. The SAPA WG-ASEAN is a common platform for collective action on ASEAN advocacy.

http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleaseanrightsbody15.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 24, 2008 at 8:54 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with

World focus on Burma (24 July 2008)

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Full script of Obama’s speech

CNN International –

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” …

Cyclone donors should set up monitoring body: HRW

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi – The New York based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged donors helping Burma’s cyclone victims to form an independent monitoring body to ensure …

JA applauds Burmese gem ban

National Jeweler Network, NY –

The ban places a total embargo on the importation of gemstones from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), including those that are mined in Myanmar and …

Google Knol Launches

WebProNews, KY –

You may also not write anything commercial if you’re in “Cuba, Iran, Burma (Myanmar), North Korea, Syria, or Sudan,” Google says.) Other articles, like the …

South-East Asia ASEAN and the temple of doom

Economist, UK –

Mr Yeo said Myanmar had hinted that Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s opposition leader, might soon be freed from house arrest. Embarrassingly, his Burmese …

ASEAN Countries Criticise Burma for Disaster Response

Vatican Radio, The Vatican –

… also criticised Myanmar’s ruling military junta for its response to Cyclone Nargis. The Director of the Burma Campaign UK Anna Roberts gave her reaction …

Court hears case of female reporter covering on Cyclone

Mizzima.com, India –

Chiang Mai — Despite of the absence of a key prosecutor’s witness, a township court in Burma’s former capital on Thursday conducted the hearing of the case …

Asia-Pacific countries to co-operate on disaster relief

CBC.ca, Canada –

… like Burma, also known as Myanmar, which feel the presence of foreign troops on their soil, even for relief work, would jeopardize their sovereignty. …

UN acknowledges huge foreign exchange loss in Myanmar relief

Earthtimes (press release), UK –

“This is an extraordinary exchange loss, and where that gain goes I’m not sure,” Holmes said in an interview before departing Myanmar after a three-day …

WFP to Stop Relief Flights to Burma Next Month

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Aid organizations that will have to find their own means of continuing to send relief supplies to the cyclone-devastated Irrawaddy delta include UNICEF and …

The price of being a judge in Rangoon

United Press International, Asia, China –

… 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. …

No Political Prisoner in Burma: Junta’s Mouthpieces

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

A Burmese human rights group in exile, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP) welcomed the declaration on July 22. encourages all …

Water Buffalo and Beautiful Music

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Foreign groups on the border have concentrated on teaching non-violent methods of dissent, human rights training and techniques of network building inside …

Spotlight on human rights

Huddersfield Examiner, UK –

With the Olympic Games in Beijing drawing close a Huddersfield group is joining the growing clamour bringing the issue of human rights in China to the fore. …

Russia against ‘narrow’ Asia-Pacific military-political groupings

RIA Novosti, Russia –

SINGAPORE, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s foreign minister said on Thursday that Moscow was against “narrowly-defined” military-political structures in …

Asian Nations, Partners Meet at Annual Regional Forum

Voice of America –

… in the wake of two deadly regional disasters in May – a massive earthquake in southwest China, and Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma’s Irrawaddy delta. …

Myanmar ‘badly out of step’ with rule of law: Rice

Business Standard, India –

The regional grouping pursues a controversial policy of “constructive engagement” with Myanmar, a military-run nation formerly known as Burma. …

ASEAN forum endorses disaster relief exercise

Radio Australia, Australia –

Disaster preparedness has risen high on the regional agenda after Cyclone Nargis struck Burma and an earthquake in south-west China together left more than …

Asia-Pacific Powers Finalize Ambitious Joint Disaster Relief Plan

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

They called for civilian-military coordination in disaster relief—a need that became evident during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Burma cyclone in May …

Rice hits out at Burma ‘mockery’

BBC News, UK –

After a meeting with the 10 South East Asian foreign ministers, and other regional powers, the US secretary of state accused Burma – also known as Myanmar …

Asia’s security forum urges ASEAN, China to keep peace in Spratlys

Monsters and Critics.com –

Singapore – Asia’s main security forum on Thursday urged the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to expedite the formulation of …

DEMOCRACY FORCES WILL CHALLENGE THE CREDENTIALS OF THE MILITARY …

UNPO, Netherlands –

The democratic movement of Burma will be challenging the credentials of the Burmese military junta at the 2008 United Nations General Assembly session and …

Burma: Where do we go from here?

UNPO, Netherlands –

The peoples of Burma pleaded to the United Nations, the superpowers, China, Russia, India and ASEAN countries for help. But International countries are …

UN Chief convenes fourth ‘Group of Friends’ meet on Burma

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi — The United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday convened a meeting of the ‘Group of Friends’ to review the situation in Burma and …

FM Urges Aussie Govt. to Ban LTTE

Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka –

Foreign Minister Bogollagama who arrived in Singapore yesterday held bilateral discussions with his counterparts from Australia, Myanmar, Laos, South Korea, …

Cronyism, unhealthy competition in Burma media market

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

… in other business sectors in Myanmar (Burma), due in part to the government’s mismanagement of the country’s business environment,” the editor said. …

US Burmese Gem Ban Approved by Congress

IDEX Online, Israel –

The US Congress this week approved legislation blocking the import of gems from Myanmar ( Burma ). A sister bill was passed in the US House of …

It’s tempting to be isolationist

Paradise Post, CA –

Those idiots in Myanmar (Burma) allowed thousands to die while our relief ships were anchored off their coast – ready to help. …

Asia forum plans multinational disaster exercises

The Standard, Hong Kong –

… disaster management in a region that has seen international aid efforts mounted after a major cyclone in Burma and a devastating earthquake in China. …

US Senate Bans Import of Burmese Gems

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Referring to the crackdown on monks last year and the junta’s decision to place restrictions on international aid for cyclone victims, Berman said: “These …

Rice urges Asean to step up pressure on Burma

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee US States Secretary Condoleezza Rice urged Thursday the Asean to press Burma’s junta towards political reform and a release of …

UNITED NATIONS – / MaximsNews Network / – 23 July 2008 — Daily …

MICHELE MONTAS is the Spokesperson for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

MICHELE MONTAS is the Spokesperson for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

WEDNESDAY, 23/07/2008 (MaximsNews Network) WEDNESDAY, 23/07/2008 (MaximsNews Network)

The Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General and the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.

MaximsNews Network, NY –
Question: Who are all the countries participating in the meeting on Burma today? Spokesperson: The countries participating are Australia, China, France, ..

Naga border villages depend on Burma villages for survival

Expressindia.com, India –

… cut off from the rest of the world in the absence of motorable road, villages in Myanmar just across the international border have come as a saviour. …

US calls Myanmar’s promise of democracy a ‘mockery’; Asia-Pacific …

International Herald Tribune, France –

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered a stinging rebuke to Myanmar, also known as Burma, before attending a security conference hosted by the …

Myanmar ‘badly out f step’ with rule of law: Rice

Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates –

The regional grouping pursues a controversial policy of ‘constructive engagement’ with Myanmar, a military-run nation formerly known as Burma. …

UN Wants ‘Tangible Progress’ in Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Second, unlike the UN group, this luncheon meeting includes Myanmar (Burma). So there is a sense of ownership,” Sen said. “Without involving Myanmar …

Asia-Pacific Security Forum Discusses Civilian-Military Relief …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Rice praised ASEAN for forcing Burma’s doors to open to aid. “That was a useful role, but it should never have happened in the first place,” she said. …

Myanmar victims still struggling as emergency aid winds down

Emirates Business 24/7, United Arab Emirates –

Emergency relief operations are winding down in Myanmar’s cyclone-struck delta, but aid workers say that with many survivors still without enough food or …

Dhaka, Rangoon Agree to Resolve Maritime Dispute

Narinjara News, Bangladesh –

Dhaka: Two top foreign officials from Burma and Bangladesh pledged on Wednesday during a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum held in Singapore to resolve …

Sri Lanka Minister at South-East Asian Meet Urges Australia to Ban …

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

Minister Bogollagama said that there is broad support within SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] for Myanmar’s [Burma] admission as an …

Rice urges countries to settle dispute

The National, United Arab Emirates –

We are concerned about it and there needs to be a way to resolve it peacefully,” she told reporters outside the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting. …

Thai-Cambodia border row should not be pushed to UN : US

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Q : Madame: A question on Burma; I read somewhere you said earlier that you will push Asean to do more on the Burma. Have you done over the past days? …

Malaria Control Goals Are Likely To Be Unachievable

Science Daily (press release) –

For example, Burma (Myanmar) received US$0.01 for each person at risk, compared to US$147 in Suriname, South America. Certain areas, such as Africa, …

Within And Beyond Asean

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

The Thai-Cambodian dispute centred on the Preah Vihear temple is flaring so soon after Asean barely managed to tackle the Burma humanitarian situation. …

Rice’s Asean ‘Gardening’

Wall Street Journal –

By DOUGLAS H. PAAL Yesterday US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dropped in on an important Asian political conference she has missed in recent years. …

Singapore: ‘Asean Needs To Find Ways To Resolve Disputes’

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

The Burma crises sorely tested Asean’s principle of non-interference. Now, the Thai-Cambodian spat has put into the spotlight one of the fundamental …

Govt to appoint new ASEAN ambassador

ABC Online, Australia –

Officials have also expressed the need to plan and test how member states could help each other during disasters such as the Burma cyclone, …

Remember Burma’s Child Soldiers

Washington Post, United States –

Children, some as young as 11, are forcibly recruited into Burma’s armed forces. According to a 2002 report from Human Rights Watch, Burma had the largest …

How Hostages, and Nations, Get Liberated

Black and White, AL –

Before that, the cause du jour was Burma, where a vicious dictatorship allowed thousands of cyclone victims to die by denying them independently delivered …

US backs ASEAN Burma statement on rights

Radio Australia, Australia –

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Southeast Asian nations to put more pressure on Burma’s junta to improve human rights and adopt …

US lawmakers consider Olympic rights message to China

AFP –

… 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). …

North Korea to Sign Non-Aggression Treaty With ASEAN

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

The ASEAN group consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. …

UN mediator’s Myanmar trip must yield progress: global group

Straits Times, Singapore –

UNITED NATIONS – A GROUP of countries trying to foster democratic rule in Myanmar said on Wednesday that UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari’s upcoming visit to the …

Letter to donors on reconstruction after Cyclone Nargis

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

The Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) conducted by ASEAN, Burmese officials, and UN officials, is an important step towards an accurate assessment of the …

NZ offers more aid to Burma cyclone region

Radio Australia, Australia –

New Zealand is to give extra funds to Burma following the devastation caused by cyclone Nargis. Foreign Minister Winston Peters says just under $US2 million …

US praises ASEAN as ‘place to rally’ despite failure to resolve …

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria – go

She said ASEAN had an important role to play bringing about change in Myanmar, also known as Burma, whose military rulers have faced severe international …

Congress Passes ‘Burma’ Act

Jewelers Circular Keystone Online, NY –

“In essence, this act closes the loophole that allowed stones to be recut outside of Burma and no longer be considered as “Burmese origin” when imported,” …

HRW Urges Donors to Ensure Burma’s Rulers Do Not Divert Cyclone Aid

Voice of America –

The United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said Monday that Burma needs more than $1 billion in aid over the next three years to …

Unique summer camp

Orangeburg Times Democrat, SC –

The children enrolled at the camp were from many different nations including Burma (Myanmar), Somalia and Mexico. A common bond in their lives is that their …

FM urges Aussie govt. to ban LTTE

Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka –

Foreign Minister Bogollagama who arrived in Singapore yesterday held bilateral discussions with his counterparts from Australia, Myanmar, Laos, South Korea, …

IB eye on China, NE outfits ‘link’

Howrah News Service, India –

IB sleuths were working on information that arms are being procured by the insurgents from Kunming province in China bordering Burma. …

Pres. Signature is Next Step for Ban on Gems, Jade from Myanmar

Diamonds.net, NY –

The bill, which originated in the House and passed the Senate yesterday, also makes leaders, officers, and their families in Myanmar (also called Burma) …

Burma: Cyclone Donors Should Ensure Transparency and Accountability

Human Rights Watch (press release) –

The Tripartite Core Group (TCG) – comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations and the Burmese ruling State Peace and …

60 years of celebrating human rights

The New Nation, Bangladesh –

“The tragedy of 20 years of isolation of Burma has done no good, even though the politicians have felt good about condemning the human rights record of the …

Back from Burma

The Asian Pacific Post, Canada –

By Lucy-Claire Saunders The only Canadian Red Cross worker to spend more than a month in Burma arrived back in Canada last week after providing logistical …

Congress Moving to Extend Sanctions Against Myanmar

CQPolitics.com, DC –

The sanctions bar all US imports from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, until its regime improves its record on human rights, moves toward a democratic …

EU-ASEAN meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum (July 23-24, 2008)

France Diplomatie (press release), France –

It will notably be an opportunity to raise the EU’s concerns with respect to the situation in Burma and North Korea. The Minister of State will also have …

At UN, High-Level Friends of Myanmar Meet But Few Speak, As …

Inner City Press, NY –

Practically, in this case silence meant that while the US criticized Gambari performance, or what he has emerged from his previous trips to Myanmar with, …

National Jeweler Network, NY –

… it will hurt small gemstone dealers in Burma and the gem and jewelry industry that processes the goods in Thailand, more than the government of Myanmar. …

Beijing Olympics: To Attend or Not to Attend?

Embassy, Canada –

Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Bob Rae last week argued Canada needs “to engage” with the Asian nation, “don’t rebuff China.” But in an interview with CTV …

Southeast Asia Nations Back Indo-US Nuclear Deal – PTI

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. …

Dhaka, Yangon vow to resolve maritime disputes

Bangladesh News 24 hours (subscription), Bangladesh –

Dhaka, July 23 (bdnews24.com)–Bangladesh and Myanmar have pledged to resolve disputes over their maritime borders in the quickest possible time, …

Rice Urges ASEAN to Increase Pressure on Burma

Voice of America –

By VOA News US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the southeast Asian regional bloc has an important role to play in pushing Burma towards democracy. ..

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