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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for July 26th, 2008

World focus on Burma (27 July 2008)

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NEWSWEEK COVER: What Drives China

MarketWatch –

By dealing with pariah states like Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Iran in order to feed the country’s voracious appetite for oil, timber and metals, …

More money for displaced Iraqis

The Age, Australia –

The UNHCR in Bangladesh will receive $950000 to build 180 shelters to house 1000 Rohingya families who have fled neighbouring Burma. …

Outmanoeuvred at every turn

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Bangkok succeeded last Tuesday, at least temporarily, in blocking Phnom Penh’s effort to ask for Asean intervention, saying that bilateral diplomatic …

BURMA: Females Hit Worst by Cyclone Nargis – Report

Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –

He conceded, however, that the political climate in Burma is challenging. ‘’The political situation in Myanmar makes any choices we make very difficult,’’ …

Latest ‘Rambo’ hit home with young Burmese peace walker, NJ –

… to help stop human rights violations in his homeland. His journey, a Walk for Peace designed to draw attention to Burma’s struggles, began March 1. …

‘Managed democracy’ in action in Cambodian vote

Toronto Star, Canada –

He’s not as heavy-handed as Burma’s military rulers, nor as sophisticated as Singapore’s premier. But Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen – once a …

South Asia Summit Begins in Sri Lanka Capital, OR –

He announced that Australia has already requested observer status as has Myanmar [Burma]. A decision on the request is expected at the forthcoming summit. …

Give human rights body teeth

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

If Burma s wishes are honoured by the panel – and to be sure, Burma is not alone in its position – what exactly will the human rights body be able to …

Give human rights body teeth

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

If Burma s wishes are honoured by the panel – and to be sure, Burma is not alone in its position – what exactly will the human rights body be able to …

Cyclone-hit fields left idle as Myanmar planting season ends


LABUTTA, Myanmar (AFP) — Kyaw Thein thought his problems were solved when Myanmar’s government delivered seeds, cattle and tillers to his village to help …

London’s link to Burmese junta revealed, UK –

… 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, …

China: Pride, Protest and the Olympic Games

Newsweek –

By dealing with pariah states like Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Iran in order to feed the country’s voracious appetite for oil, timber and metals, …

Burma’s cyclone survivors are left to struggle with their fate, United Kingdom –

Last week Surin Pitsuwan, the secretary-general of Asean, the body that represents south-east Asian nations, described the situation in the delta as “a …

Bush Asked to Pressure Olympic Committee Regarding Iraqi Athletes

The Conservative Voice, NC –

… the IOC would reject athletes from a democratic Iraq, and at the same time, embrace those from repressive regimes like North Korea, Burma and Sudan. …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm

The world’s most wanted despots

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Political wrangling often stymies international courts, but wheels of justice starting to turn more rapidly
Jul 26, 2008 04:30 AM

Foreign Affairs Reporter

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been charged with genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

From Osama to Radovan, the global public is on first-name terms with many of the usual suspects wanted for appalling international crimes.

But dozens of others never make the indictment list of any international court. And some, accused of gruesome attacks on innocent civilians, are unknown quantities outside their own countries.

It’s easier to point fingers than to indict war criminals. Political wrangling stymies international courts from signing warrants against mass murderers, torturers and directors of violence that shatters millions of lives.

In an ideal world, a list of the worst dictators would be a template for future trials. North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, Burma’s junta leader Than Shwe, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov would top the roster.

They preside over countries where some of the most horrific abuses of human rights have taken place. But few, if any, will end up in the dock of an international court.

“There’s the wish list, and the reality check,” says Param-Preet Singh, Human Rights Watch’s counsel in international justice.

“There is always the possibility of justice, but without political will, it is much harder to deliver.”

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan was a rare exception. He was recently indicted by the International Criminal Court – a surprise move that could shake up other brutal rulers.

Bashir’s campaign against Darfur rebels in western Sudan led to rape, torture and murder of thousands of civilians, on a scale the U.S. calls genocide.

A groundswell of public outrage against the atrocities committed in Darfur propelled Bashir’s indictment, which wasn’t opposed by any of the powerful members of the United Nations Security Council who have a veto over cases referred to the international court.

But Mugabe, protected by China, Russia and South Africa – a non-permanent council member – would be an unlikely prisoner.

If a warrant were issued, arresting him would be close to impossible.

“There’s no tribunal police force,” Singh notes. “And if there were, it would still be dependent on national security forces to do its job.”

Arresting a dictator in power is unprecedented. And the apprehension of former strongmen may give pause to those who are considering stepping down.

A UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone seized Liberia’s Charles Taylor and sent him to The Hague after he gave up the presidency under international pressure and fled to Nigeria.

Former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic was turned over to an international tribunal after he was ousted by reformers. Fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was nabbed after 13 years in hiding. And former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet spent his last years under house arrest in his home country, accused of dozens of human rights violations after overthrowing Salvador Allende in 1973.

The looming scales of justice may have convinced Mugabe to cling to power for the rest of his life.

And the aging Than Shwe, reportedly ailing, shows no sign of handing over the reins to a successor.

Some in the West also worry that indicting heads of state sets an uncomfortable precedent.

There have been calls for war crimes trials of U.S. President George W. Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair, who backed the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, sparking a bloody civil war.

But Washington’s opposition to the international court has quashed any move to indict them.

Further down the political chain, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger has been accused of committing war crimes in Indochina, Bangladesh, East Timor and Chile, also without effect.

In the U.S., a well-publicized list of most wanted terror suspects has made men like Ramzi Yousef, convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, household names.

Other countries’ bêtes noires are more obscure, despite the horrible crimes of which they are accused.

India has called for the extradition of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, its chief suspect in the 1991 murder of prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and numerous other serious crimes.

Israel’s most wanted list includes dozens of Palestinian militants, accused of planning and carrying out deadly attacks. Several have been assassinated, including leaders of the militant faction Hamas.

Russia’s most wanted, Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev, was killed in an explosion after fighting two wars against Moscow and carrying out catastrophic attacks on civilians.

Hundreds of suspects are still at large in dozens of countries. But, says Singh, the international courts’ wheels of justice are turning more rapidly than ever – in spite of political stumbling blocks.

“More and more, international justice is a powerful tool. Milosevic, Taylor, Karadzic are people who even 15 years ago would never have been brought to justice. It shows that with political will, anything is possible.”


President of Sudan, accused by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor of genocide and other crimes against the people of Darfur. Bashir, 64, was born in northern Sudanese village. A career military man, he came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, imposed Islamic law and fought bloody wars against opponents in the south and west of the country.

Where is he now?

In his presidential palace in Khartoum, where he denies any guilt for atrocities. A heavily guarded authoritarian ruler, he’s unlikely to be arrested soon.

An ethnic Serb born in Croatia 50 years ago, Hadzic was elected president of the breakaway Repubic of Serbian Krajina, seized from Croatia by Serbs who opposed the breakup of Yugoslavia. He’s accused of atrocities including the 1991 massacre of 250 non-Serbs seized in the Croatian town of Vukovar.

Where is he now?

The glum Hadzic has been reported hiding in an Orthodox monastery in a northern Serbian village, and in a town on the picturesque Montenegrin coast.

Now 51, he’s the son of a wealthy Saudi family who became a militant jihadist and power behind the Afghanistan’s Taliban regime, as well as kingpin of the Al Qaeda network and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.

Where is he now?

Bin Laden has the money and contacts to remain on the lam where few can follow. Sightings were reported in Afghanistan and on the Pakistan border.

As chief of the Bosnian Serb army, Mladic is accused of working with Radovan Karadzic to ethnically cleanse non-Serbs from Bosnia. He was in charge during the seige of Sarajevo and the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

Where is he now?

Sightings have been reported in Belgrade, Montenegro and Bosnia. Other reports say the 66-year-old suffers from a serious heart condition or died after a stroke.

Chief of the Taliban movement and former head of its extreme Islamist regime in Afghanistan. Omar, 49, is a mystery man who seldom communicates with the outside world. Born in Kandahar, he fought against Russia and Western troops, losing an eye in battle.

Where is he now?

In hiding, possibly in Pakistan, Omar is said to have discarded his signature beard and turban for more Western dress. Some reports place him in the northwestern town of Quetta, where he is said to be an imam.

The IOC dictatorship: let the Olympic muzzling begin

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Last night on the news, I saw a story on the Olympics which mentioned that the International Olympic Committee, has stated that any athlete who makes any sort of political statement from the podium in Beijing will be sent home. It seems they don’t want China to be embarrassed in any way. Not about Tibet, not about Darfur, not about anything.

You may say to yourself that that sounds reasonable since the Olympics aren’t supposed to be political. However, I’d say that the Olympics being nonpolitical is the farthest thing from the truth. The Olympics are extremely political, no matter what any individual athlete may or may not do.

The simple fact is the Chinese government is using the Games to legitimize its illegitimate dictatorship, both in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of its own people: “Hey, look what we can do. We’re not such a bad government after all, are we? Look at the big show we’re putting on.”

There’s simply no denying that this is the Party’s big party. The Communist Dictatorship of the Proletariat (or of the rice farmers or whatever) is reaching its pinnacle and these great Olympic Games will finally show the world just how glorious that dictatorship really is.

And if everyone could just forget for the moment that the Chinese government’s rule is, in fact, completely illegitimate–that no one ever elected any of these self-serving corrupt buffoons and that they remain in power only through force and intimidation, no different than in Burma or North Korea–well, that’d be much appreciated.

It would also be extremely helpful if no one mentioned the killing and repression in Tibet or anything at all about the Chinese-armed and -backed states of Burma, Sudan, and North Korea, which, somewhat embarrassingly for their sponsors in Beijing, keep on slaughtering and horrifically repressing their own people. It should be noted, however, that no matter how embarrassing that horrific repression and slaughter may be, China will always be there to veto any and all attempted action by the U.N. Security Council.

Olympic boycott?
I understand why most people don’t support a full Olympic boycott, since that’d be unfair to the athletes, who’ve spent their whole lives training for this. However, I find it more than just a little ridiculous that the IOC thinks it must protect a tyrannical regime from embarrassment. I’d say it’s hardly the IOC’s business whether or not athletes express solidarity with oppressed peoples in places such as Tibet, Darfur and Burma… or China, for that matter.

I mean, why does the IOC care if someone waves a Tibetan flag from the podium?

Well, there are those billions of dollars in revenue, of course. That may have something to do with it.

Can you imagine if an athlete had made an explicit anti-Nazi statement from the podium in Berlin back in 1936? Man, would that ever have wrecked the whole show Hitler was putting on.

Seriously, can you imagine how horrible it would have been had anyone been so rude and inconsiderate as to dare embarrass those poor Nazis? It would have been so tragic, especially after all the work they’d put into preparing for those oh-so-unpolitical games? Thank God no one did anything inappropriate, and the IOC didn’t have to punish any of the athletes for any inexcusable behaviour.

Let’s just hope that all morality can once again be suppressed in Beijing as well.

Come on people, really now, lighten up. Slaughter, repression, genocide, these things are irrelevant. There’s a sporting festival to be held and billions in advertising revenues to be made. Let the Games begin!

Mike Cowie is a writer currently embarked on a book about his three-year trip across Asia with his wife, Sonoko. Read more of Mike’s views on his Web site.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 26, 2008 at 6:49 am

World focus on Burma (26-7-2008)

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Burmese Army soldiers slaughter livestock in famine hit areas

A vengeful Burmese junta has been using Burmese Army soldiers to kill domestic animals in Darling village in Matupi Township, southern Chin state in areas that have been badly hit by food crisis. The slaughtering is a sort of revenge because the residents of the area did not vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum to approve the draft constitution.


7thSpace Interactive (press release), NY –

Before concluding its consideration of its agenda item on human rights, the Council took note of the Report of the Committee on Economic, …

Torture Survivor Campaigns for Freedom in Burma

NewsBlaze, CA –

At the panel discussion, Aung Din said the Burmese regime is holding about 2000 political detainees, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. …

City of London’s link to Burmese junta revealed

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
… 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, …

Burma: Calling Reporters and Bloggers to boycott Beijing and to …

OpEdNews, PA –

While I was studying in the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in September 2007, there was a Saffron Revolution in Burma. The military regime …

Sports: Iraq flagged for “interference”

World Magazine, NC –

… has chosen to crack down on the democratically elected government that replaced the Hussein regime—while welcoming to Beijing Zimbabwe, Burma, Cuba, …


Guide and Gazette, UK –

For the oppressed people of Burma this date is particularly significant. It is the 20th anniversary of the massacre ending the last democratic uprising. …

Weekly Business Roundup (July 26, 2008)

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

At least 20 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars for aid already channeled into Burma has been “lost,” reports Inner City Press, a New York-based …

UN Security Council Action Needed on Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

… Burmese regime when UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari visits the country mid-August. Ban also convened a meeting of the so-called “Group of Friends” on Burma …

China Invented Everything

New America Media, CA –

And the Emperor grudgingly let the British Ambassador celebrate his birthday in Burma, and give him presents. They gave him clocks. …, Qatar –

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 …

Not quite the end of history

National Post, Canada –

There’s no democracy in China, which imprisons its citizens at will, supports dictatorships in Burma and elsewhere and nevertheless demands respect for its …

UN: Myanmar taking cut of cyclone aid

United Press International –

Sean Turnell, an economist at Macquarie University in Sydney, said much of the aid is being delivered to Myanmar, formerly Burma, in the form of goods, …

AFC Challenge Cup ’08 Team Profile: Myanmar, Switzerland –

Amoy Ghoshal looks at the sole representative of ASEAN – Myanmar. Myanmar formerly played under the name of “Burma” and was very successful in the 1960s. …

Burma aid cash lost to regime, says UN

Financial Times, UK –

By Harvey Morris at the United Nations International aid money sent to Burma’s cyclone victims is being lost as a result of the junta’s foreign exchange …

The IOC dictatorship: let the Olympic muzzling begin

Georgia Straight, Canada –

I’d say it’s hardly the IOC’s business whether or not athletes express solidarity with oppressed peoples in places such as Tibet, Darfur and Burma… or …

DVD REVIEWS; Action Movies Fail to Deliver

RedOrbit, TX –

The story – Rambo to the rescue, along with some mercenaries, of a bunch of Christian missionaries in brutal and bloody Myanmar (Burma) – is just a device …

Charity May Begin at Home, But It’s Moving Online

Huffington Post, NY –

Online giving has had a particularly significant impact in responding to massive crises like Katrina, the Asian tsunami, the flooding in Burma and the …

Border row exposes Asean’s Achilles heel

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Fresh from its successful work in spearheading an international humanitarian mission into cyclone-devastated Burma, the 10-country Asean abdicated from …

Farrow calls for Olympics protest

The Keene Sentinel (subscription), NH –

Myanmar was formerly known as Burma. Farrow also lamented President Bush’s decision to attend the opening ceremonies, saying it was “a missed opportunity …

Scoop World Coverage: Sec. Condoleezza Rice In NZ (press release), New Zealand –

And so you can count on US support for your efforts to integrate the ASEAN community. We want to continue to be a good partner and support ASEAN.” – Sec. …

Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World …

Times Online, UK –

In the 1950s, the Philippines and Burma were perceived as frontrunners for economic success, while Taiwan and South Korea were basket cases. …

Robert Fulford on Robert Kagan: Not quite the end of history

National Post, Canada –

There’s no democracy in China, which imprisons its citizens at will, supports dictatorships in Burma and elsewhere and nevertheless demands respect for its …

Voice of America –

ASEAN, together with the United Nations and Burma, formed the Tripartite Core Group after the international community pressured the Burmese government to …

Burmese blogger face the trial, India –

The court had begun hearing on one of the three charges against Nay Phone Latt, who is currently detained in Burma’s notorious Insein prison in Rangoon. …

Junta sentences 10 student activists to labour camps, India –

Tate Naing said, Burma’s military junta might have arrested the young Muslim students out of fear that their involvement in the protests during September …

Religious leaders vow to work for combating Aids/HIV

The Daily Star, Bangladesh –

But the prime concern of the government is that Bangladesh is surrounded by countries like India, Nepal, Burma and Bhutan where the disease is spreading …

UN Says as Much as 25 Percent of Burma Cyclone Aid Lost Due to …

FOXNews –

BANGKOK, Thailand — As much as 25 percent of cyclone relief aid in Burma (also known as Myanmar) is being lost because of the military government’s foreign …

Food top priority for Burma’s cyclone victims, India –

“The situation remains dire in Myanmar [Burma] ,” said Chris Kaye, WFP’s Country Director for Burma on Friday. “The vast majority of families simply don’t …

People in the News

Annapolis Capital, MD –

Myanmar was formerly known as Burma. PHOENIX – DMX rapped for reporters outside a Phoenix courtroom yesterday after pleading not guilty to felony charges of …

International aid for Burma (Myanmar) faces funding crunch

Christian Science Monitor, MA –

By Simon Montlake | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor BANGKOK, THAILAND – International efforts to help millions of people in Burma (Myanmar) …

Obama Statement on the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting

7thSpace Interactive (press release), NY –

I remain particularly concerned about conditions in Burma. I commend ASEAN for its attempts to reach the suffering people in southern Burma, who continue to …