Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for August 6th, 2008

Mao’s ghost

leave a comment »

Mao’s ghost

The spirit of the chairman haunts the Beijing Olympics

By EDITORIAL | August 6, 2008


Photo illustration by K. Banks.

When the 21st century is old enough to support a sense of historical perspective, the date 8/8/08 may well be more significant than 9/11. The Olympic Games, which begin today, mark China’s modern coming of age.

“Modern” is an important qualification. As the planet’s oldest civilization with a recognizable sense of continuity, China has seen glory before. Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass were all products of its ancient genius. But for much of modern history, China was a nation on the margins: misunderstood and discounted, shamelessly exploited by Western powers and brutally pillaged by the Japanese.

Chairman Mao Zedong changed that — though it takes a strong constitution to stomach the murderous nature of his achievement.

Mao brought China neither peace nor prosperity. His Soviet-inspired agricultural policies led to famine; his Cultural Revolution transformed the country into a massive concentration camp. Median estimates of the total number dead as a result of Mao’s will and whim float around 50 million — give or take 10 million. Whatever the body count, most historians agree that Mao was the greatest mass murderer of all time.

It was Mao’s perverse achievement to forge in the smithy of the ancient Chinese soul the makings of a reconstituted superpower. Whether the nation’s ascendancy is because of Mao or in spite of him is almost irrelevant. The DNA is too tight to unravel, the duality too synthesized to deconstruct. Mao, or a version of him, is China. China, in some manifestation, is Mao. Mao’s embalmed corpse on display under glass in a mausoleum in Tiananmen Square taps into the Confucian ideal of ancestor reverence, and yet also transcends it. Mao, the great helmsman, washes all other ancestors with his wake.

The cult of Mao is a form of zombie politics; it is part of the voodoo employed by the shrewd, sophisticated bureaucrats who command the Middle Kingdom. They are, by Mao’s standards, faceless. The art of ruling the world’s most populous nation is to be one of a crowd. (During the terror of the Cultural Revolution, only Mao’s favor could save one from the chaos; to survive, the individual had to melt into the mob. Its memory disciplines the masses.)

China today is a dragon with a capitalist head and a communist heart. It is a living, breathing, thriving contradiction. Because the dragon is rising (the metaphor is no less apt because it is melodramatic), its momentum tends to mask its weak spots.

All things considered, however, China has ridden its momentum to exceptional advantage. It has, from a narrow and admittedly selfish American point of view, promised much (or appeared to promise much) and given little.

The vicissitudes of domestic politics aside, when President Richard Nixon knocked on China’s door 36 years ago, America had little to lose by recognizing the reality (denied — ironically — by people like Nixon) that China was in fact Communist.

More problematic for the average American worker was China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. It is hard to see how this benefited the average American. Yes, there are lower prices for an increasingly huge number of consumer goods made in China. But that appears to come as a direct loss of American jobs with little return in terms of access to Chinese markets.

The real winners of this development have been the multinational conglomerates that moved to China, and the financial institutions that backed them. Both of the presumptive presidential nominees, John McCain and Barack Obama, are curiously tight-lipped about future China policy. The reason for that may be simple: both are advised by people who make their livings outside of electoral politics, counseling multinationals that make mega-bucks in China.

Since Nixon approached China, the argument has gone that engaging the country economically would provide political leverage and ultimately result in liberalization of the repressive Chinese regime. According to the US State Department, China is still among the world’s nastiest governments — so much for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s “iron law” that economic liberation will lead to political liberation.

Seeking raw materials and favors that sharpen its economic might, China sponsors terror in the Sudan and Zimbabwe and props up dictatorships in Myanmar (Burma) and North Korea. Its rape of Tibet has intensified, as has its crackdown on internal critics and dissidents. So secure is China in its ability to play on the hopes and avarice of the West, that it has — against all expectations (foolish though they might have been) — barred meaningful Internet access to the legions of journalists covering the Olympic Games.

Engagement was the reason China was awarded the Olympics. As a rule, cities, as opposed to nations, are awarded the Games in an effort to downplay international rivalries and accentuate the efforts of individual athletes. However, there have been two exceptions: the Berlin Games in 1936 were awarded by contract to Hitler’s Germany and the 2008 Games were awarded to the People’s Republic of China. The distinction may appear small and legalistic. But in each instance, the International Olympic Committee fractured its own protocols to massage egos that were as internationally aggressive as they were domestically repressive.

Demonizing China is counterproductive. Nations have interests, not friends. But Americans should ask themselves, is it in our interests that China today holds $1.2 trillion in reserve assets alone, with billions more invested in US financial institutions and other businesses? And while we ponder that question, we should ask ourselves this: is it prudent for the federal government to spend like a drunken sailor with money borrowed from China? The fault is not China’s for pressing its advantage as vigorously as it can. The fault is with a political establishment that has become so used to its own double talk that it fails to recognize where the interests of its citizens lie.

Meanwhile, Mao smiles in his mausoleum.

http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/66069-Maos-ghost/

Related:

Advertisements

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm

World focus on Burma (7 August 2008)

leave a comment »

.

Bush off to Beijing with a Myanmar mission

Tajikistan News, Tajikistan –

‘He is going to talk with China about Burma (former name of Myanmar) even though he seems to be worried that China’s interests are different from the US’ …

Beijing holds key to change in Burma

Financial Times, UK –

He had given interviews to foreign media criticising the regime’s slow response to cyclone Nargis, which left 133000 people dead or missing in May this year …

US president affirms commitment to Burma

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

The US president spoke of his frustration with the delays in relief supplies getting to Burma after the cyclone, but said he felt it was the right decision …

UN envoy sees ‘good signs’ from Myanmar at end of mission

AFP –

YANGON (AFP) — The new UN human rights envoy for Myanmar said Thursday he had received “good signs” that the ruling junta accepted the need for his mandate …

In Thailand, Bush keeps focus on rights

International Herald Tribune, France –

“My life in refugee is better than Burma,” the boy wrote, “but I don’t have opportunity to go outside camp.” Sean Turnell, a Myanmar specialist at Macquarie …

40000 Kiwis Sign Petition for Rights in China Before Olympics

The Epoch Times, NY –

For instance it is the main support for the military junta in Burma, in my country.” Mr Ko Ko also spoke about how the Burmese people are struggling under …

Bush chides China on human rights, Beijing tells him to butt out

Los Angeles Times, CA –

Meanwhile the president — and First Lady Laura Bush — made a major push while in Thailand to boost pressure on the military junta in Myanmar (Burma) to …

Bush, Burmese Activists Meet; Vow To End Tyranny In Burma

AHN –

“The American people care deeply about the people of Burma, and we pray for the day in which the people will be free,” Bush said during a luncheon with …

NLD says Bush visit will boost opposition morale

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Political analyst Aung Naing Oo, who was due to meet president Bush today, praised the US commitment to promoting human rights and democracy in Burma. …

Bush Blunt On China Human Rights

Sky News, UK –

First Lady Laura Bush is an outspoken advocate for Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, drawing attention to a southeast Asian nation unfamiliar to many …

Arroyo urged to push for democratic reforms in Myanmar

Inquirer.net, Philippines –

… in a dialogue with China,” he said in a briefing, stressing that ASEAN and China play a key role in restoring democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

Bush walks a Burmese tightrope in Bangkok

Mizzima.com, India –

As to whether the refusal of Burmese authorities to permit US aid into the country following Cyclone Nargis in May was in direct response to a hostile US …

Bush Notes Oppression in Asia

Christian Broadcasting Network, VA –

The President also issued a rebuke on authoritarian regimes in North Korea and Myanmar also known as Burma. But the majority of his speech was reserved for …

Bush urges China to pressure Myanmar to end its tyranny

RTT News, NY –

Winding up the second leg of his three-nation Asian tour in Thailand, Bush repeated Washington’s call on Myanmar’s military junta to release Nobel Peace …

US President George Bush chastises China for repression

Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –

“America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists,” Mr Bush said. …

US President to discuss Myanmar with China

Uzbekistan News, Uzbekistan –

While Bush criticised China’s recent human rights record, he also expressed optimism that the country would move toward political change. …

Will Bush Stay Silent In China About The Sudanese Genocide?

Swampland –

So America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents and human rights advocates and religious activists. …

China’s political games

International Herald Tribune, France –

As the Beijing Games begin, human-rights advocates want China to answer for its suppression of political freedom, its recent crackdown in Tibet, …

Internal displacement to urban areas: The Tufts-IDMC profiling …

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Notable recent examples include Sudan, northern Uganda, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burma and Somalia. Many of these displaced people flee across borders to …

Burmese remain prisoners in their own country

Radio Netherlands, Netherlands –

By correspondent Michel Maas* The military junta in Myanmar celebrates its 20th anniversary on Friday. Four months ago, the regime survived cyclone Nargis …

No hearing today in Zarganar case

Mizzima.com, India –

Kyaw Ko Ko and Nyan Linn Aung, members of ‘All Burma Federation of Student Unions’ (ABFSU), who are being charged under the Video Law and tried in Mayangon …

BBC News, UK –

One of Burma’s most popular comedians has been charged with several offences, after he defied the military by giving aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. …

Avoid ’blood jade’ olympic souvenirs

Human Rights Tribune, Switzerland –

‘’The working conditions in the mines are dreadful,’’ David Scott Mathieson, Burma consultant for the global rights lobby Human Rights Watch (HRW), …

Dissident Burma comic charged by court

The Age, Australia –

Zarganar was arrested in June after he gave interviews to foreign media in which he criticised the junta’s slow response to the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis, …

Fortress Investment Group 2Q losses remain flat
cbs4denver.com, CO –
”We will continue working until the people of Burma have the freedom they deserve,” Bush said, calling for the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San ..

Fuel price soars 30 percent in Southern Burma

Independent Mon News Agency, WA –

Price of fuel has spiraled by 30 percent in Southern Burma and there is a gap between prices prevailing in Rangoon, the largest city in Burma. …

Bush arrives in Beijing for Summer Olympics

The Associated Press –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, marks the 20th anniversary of a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists on Friday. The Bush administration has become …

Bush Cites `Deep Concerns’ Over Human Rights in China (Update3)

Bloomberg –

… and later had lunch with Burmese democracy activists, who are pressuring the military junta that rules Myanmar, formerly called Burma. …

Olympics Extra: President Bush Arrives, Criticizes

WBEN 930, NY –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, marks the 20th anniversary of a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists on Friday. The Bush administration has become …

Strategy Memo: Obama’s Bad Week

RealClearPolitics, IL –

… on relief efforts in cyclone-flattened Burma before departing for China, where he meets with IOC chief Jacques Rogge before the opening ceremonies. …

No evidence please, we’re Burmese police

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –

By Awzar Thi Hong Kong, China — Almost a year has passed since the day Burma’s military regime suddenly upped fuel prices without telling anyone, …

Burma: Was Burma’s 1988 uprising worth it?

UNPO, Netherlands –

At the same time, in other townships, everywhere people were marching for the same things, for democracy and human rights.” Another of the marchers was …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By WAI MOE BANGKOK — US President George W Bush traded ideas about US economic sanctions on Burma, humanitarian aid after Cyclone Nargis and Chinese foreign …

Burma’s Saddam: General Than Shwe

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

However, while the junta’s mouthpiece media attempts to please Than Shwe by showcasing Burma’s new roads and bridges and the country’s “prosperity”, …

Remarks by the President in Roundtable Interview with Radio Media …

Business Wire (press release), CA –

China is an important country on the United Nations Security Council, they’re an important country in the world; obviously Burma’s neighbor. …

Trampling on poorer countries to reach podium of world leaders

Herald.ie, Ireland –

Similarly, despite the imposition of trade sanctions on Burma, China has continued to provide loans to help the Burmese government, against which there are …

BEIJING 2008: BUSH, CHINESE NEED FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, Italy –

The US President then praised China’s economic growth, and turned his attention to the military junta of Burma: “Together” he underlined, “we want the end …

Prague Post, Czech Republic –

Two decades ago, at a time when Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe were about to emerge from decades of communism, Burma was plunging into its own dark …

China rejects Bush criticism

Howell Times and Transcript, UT –

Remaining in Bangkok, the president was briefed at the US ambassador‘s residence on recovery from the cyclone that devastated Myanmar‘s heartland and killed …

China rejects Bush criticism

Howell Times and Transcript, UT –

One of the activists, Lway Aye Nang of the Women‘s League of Burma, said rape has long been used “as a weapon of war” in Myanmar and thanked Washington for …

Zarganar Again Before Prison Court

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By MIN LWIN Burma’s popular satirist Zarganar appeared before a court in Rangoon’s Insein Prison for a second time on Thursday, together with three …

Remarks by the President in Lunch with Burma Activists

MarketWatch –

And secondly, we are also very grateful to have our American friends in helping the Cyclone Nargis survivors, the victims. And we also would like to inform …

Disputes aside on Bush visit to Beijing

International Herald Tribune, France –

US critics accuse China of cultivating dictators in Burma and Sudan, artificially undervaluing its currency to keep its exports cheap, and offering weak …

US President to discuss Myanmar with China (Lead)

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

“He is going to talk with China about Burma (former name of Myanmar), even though he seems to be worried that China’s interests are different from the US’ …

US President Bush heads to China for Olympic opening ceremonies

The Canadian Press, Thailand –

Bush’s wife Laura helped highlight the problems in Myanmar – also known as Burma – by visiting a border camp in northwestern Thailand that houses 38000 …

Jolie plans to build an AIDS clinic in Ethiopia

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

“The next trip for our foundation will most likely to be Asia to follow up on the situation in Burma and our work in Cambodia, Jolie said. (ANI)

Security tight on anniversary of Myanmar protest

International Herald Tribune, France –

His wife, Laura Bush, traveled to a refugee camp elsewhere in Thailand to meet with some of those who have fled Myanmar, which is also known as Burma. …

Bush meets Myanmar activists while keeping heat on human rights ...

China Post, Taiwan –

Mrs. Bush, an outspoken advocate for Myanmar, also known as Burma, visited a border refugee camp in Mae La, home to 38000 Karen, an ethnic minority that …

Bush Supports Malaysia’s Stand Against Extremism
Bernama, Malaysia –
“And we will continue working until the people of Burma have the freedom they deserve,” said Bush, who will be having lunch with a group of Myanmar

RP urged to take lead role in ASEAN against Myanmar junta

ABS CBN News, Philippines –

… to Myanmar, including pressuring the generals to open up dialogue with the opposition. “ASEAN should talk about dialogue. ASEAN should discuss the Burma …

Bush, Beijing and Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Even after Cyclone Nargis recently devastated much of Southwestern Burma, the regime continued to line its own pockets, stealing millions of dollars in …

Understanding the Bush interest in Burma

Mizzima.com, India –

And in a further indication of the rift, both domestic and international aid for cyclone victims is falling dramatically. And wait a minute! …

China Key Arms Supplier to Human Rights Abusers

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

… out that China is currently “an arms supplier of last resort for dictators and human rights abusers”, including Sudan, Zimbabwe and Myanmar (Burma). …

US President praises long standing relations between Thailand and US

Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

Bush also urged the parties concern to seek an end to “tyranny in Burma.” “The United States reiterates its call on Burma’s military junta to release Aung …

First Lady Laura Bush and United Nations Foundation Announce …

PR Web (press release), WA –

… Foundation announced today that it will provide 10000 anti-malarial bed nets to families living in temporary camps on the border of Thailand and Burma. …

First lady Laura Bush visits with Myanmar refugees

International Herald Tribune, France –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, denies the charges and says it is battling Karen insurgents. Arriving in a light rain, Mrs. Bush was greeted at the camp by …

Actress Mia Farrow Seeks To Cast Pall Over Olympics

New York Sun, United States –

Burma is a difficult issue. Tibet is complicated. Their own internal human rights issues are tricky. But, for Darfur, there was hope they would act,” she….

China’s political Games

Boston Globe, United States –

The panel isn’t alone in its reluctance to press China on human rights. While President Bush was expected to criticize China’s record in a speech in Bangkok …

Internet Freedom: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Near Agreement

Redmond Channel Partner, CA –

Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Durbin, who chairs the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, part of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, held hearings on the …

US Has `Deep Concerns’ Over Human Rights in China (Update1)

Bloomberg –

He will then have lunch with Burmese democracy activists, who are pressuring the military junta that rules Myanmar, a country formerly called Burma. …

Fact Sheet: the United States and Asia: Enduring Freedom and …

Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC –

The region has come together to respond to natural disasters, from the tsunami of 2004 to this year’s cyclone. President Bush, along with leaders from Korea …

Burma Cyclone and Jessie Sparks, Melbourne-based singer/songwriter

Ad-Hoc-News (Pressemitteilung), Germany –

She has an upcoming gig for Burma Band-Aid, which is dedicated to relief for people in that country devastated by the recent cyclone. …

UPI NewsTrack TopNews ( Bush, Thai PM discuss peace, future)

United Press International –

… spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and the avian flu, as well as working to help the cyclone victims in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. …

Bush sharpens China critique on eve of Olympics

guardian.co.uk, UK –

“Together we seek an end to tyranny in Burma,” he will say in his speech to Thai officials, business leaders and foreign diplomats. …

Bush to Sharpen Critique of China Before Visit Voice of America –

Bush Blunt On China Human Rights Sky News, UK

Bush sees “change” coming to China Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan –

———————

Taiwanese to demand China hold a “human right Olympics”

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Representatives from various groups will make speeches to demand China respect human rights during the August 8-24 Beijing Olympics, light candles for …

Bush: America seeks an end to tyranny in Burma

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

United States President George W. Bush has vowed to ”seek an end to tyranny” in Burma and called on the regime to free democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Superstition, numerology and the curviest of numbers factor into …

La Jolla Light, CA –

8/8/1988 saw the start of the popular 8888 Uprising against the Burma’s socialist regime, for example. But those who have planned weddings, gambling junkets …

Security stepped up ahead of 8888 anniversary

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Aug 6, 2008 (DVB)–As the anniversary of the 8888 uprising draws near, the Burmese military regime has deployed troops and security officials in major cities …

Burma beefs up border troops

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

”The US president plans to address the problems in Burma, so this might irritate the Burmese authorities,” said the source. It is reported that Burmese …

Desert storm

The List, UK –

With the aim of bringing advocacy and humanitarian aid to Darfur and Burma, it secured a position as UN Messenger of Peace for the ex-ER actor and bought …

US First Lady to Visit Burmese Refugee Camp on Thai-Burma Border

Voice of America –

Some have been living there for 20 years, waiting either to return to Burma, or be resettled in a third country, including the United States. …

Twenty years on, Burma’s opposition lacks unity

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

There have been at least three UN special envoys to Burma, including Gambari, who is heading back to Burma later this month. Even though the UNSC discusses …

‘Make Burma free’

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

… Gold joint military exercise and praised the kingdom for restoring democracy and its quick humanitarian response for victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma. …

UN envoy meets leader of Suu Kyi party

The News – International, Pakistan –

YANGON: Three top leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) met on Wednesday with the new UN human rights envoy for Myanmar at a …

DISARMAMENT: China Key Arms Supplier to Human Rights Abusers

Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –

… out that China is currently “an arms supplier of last resort for dictators and human rights abusers”, including Sudan, Zimbabwe and Myanmar (Burma). …

US, Thai leaders agree to strengthen cooperation

Radio Australia, Australia –

Mr Bush heaped praise on his Thai hosts, thanking them for their help in coordinating the international relief response for Burma after Cyclone Nargis …

China, Tibet, and the Olympics

The Phoenix, MA –

(Although it is true that Southeast Asian governments like the military junta in Burma or the more militant new government in Sri Lanka — both funded by the …

Author : CA-JESSIE-SPARKS

Earthtimes (press release), UK –

She has an upcoming gig for Burma Band-Aid, which is dedicated to relief for people in that country devastated by the recent cyclone. …

Bush, Thai PM Discuss Peace, Future

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

… spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and the avian flu, as well as working to help the cyclone victims in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. …

BURMA REVISITED.

Tapped, DC –

Via Mark Goldberg, John Holmes (UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs) has a Washington Post op-ed updating the situation in Burma. …

Reporters Without Borders calls for a demonstration in front of …

Canada NewsWire (press release), Canada –

The aim of our demonstration in Ottawa is to call for the release of imprisoned Chinese journalists and human rights activists. We will also be demanding …

Telappliant VoIP News, UK –

… Bgan, which has been heavily used by charities, UN officials and aid workers to ease communications after the typhoon in Burma and earthquake in China.

Burma: “If we had guns we would fight back”

Real News Network, NY –

VOICEOVER: I entered Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history. In Mandalay, Burma’s religious capital, …

A country transforming: the eyes of the world turn to its biggest …

The Herald, UK –

International scrutiny, the theory went, would mean the Games brought a huge boost to human rights. Did they? “If anything, things are worse,” said John …

First lady Laura Bush visit highlights need for aid to Burmese

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

The United Nations and aid agencies working inside the country report steady progress in accessing disaster affected areas after the cyclone, …

The Associated Press –

The president planned to quickly pivot from his speech to a full day of outreach toward the people of Myanmar, also known as Burma, who live under military …

Mao’s ghost

The Phoenix, MA –

… favors that sharpen its economic might, China sponsors terror in the Sudan and Zimbabwe and props up dictatorships in Myanmar (Burma) and North Korea…

Indians look for final push

Howrah News Service, India –

6: Hosts India will look to pull out their best as they take on Burma in the first semifinal of the AFC Challenge Cup at the Gachibowli stadium on Thursday. …

Human spirit fights back in Burma

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Hundreds of people are returning to villages devastated by Cyclone Nargis in Burma/Myanmar – and experiencing mixed feelings of joy and pain. …

Burma: Twenty Years of military rule, the youth and alternative …

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

The United Nations needs to focus on Burma and start thinking of playing a crucial role for the return of democracy to Burma. Otherwise, another civil war …

Bush in Thailand for Foreign Policy Speech, Meetings on Burma

Voice of America –

In a major foreign policy speech he is scheduled to deliver on Thursday, he is expected to criticize Beijing’s human rights record and the plight of the …

UN envoy meets Suu Kyi’s party leaders

Radio Australia, Australia –

Three senior leaders of Burma’s National League for Democracy have met the new UN human rights envoy for Burma. The members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party met…

McCain’s foreign policy in a league of its own

guardian.co.uk, UK –

The group has done little to advance democracy abroad except to scold Burma in 2003 about its lack of elections. A lot of good that did. …

Voice of America –

By VOA News The new United Nations human rights envoy to Burma met Wednesday with leaders of the Burmese opposition for talks on the military government’s …

2ND LD: Bush meets Thailand’s leader, reaffirms close cooperation

Yahoo, Thailand –

While in Thailand, Bush is set to deliver a speech on US policy toward Asia, meet with some Myanmar dissidents and visit the largest slum area of Bangkok. …

ၾသဂုတ္လ အနီေရာင္ လႈပ္ရွားမႈ – အေကာင္းဆံုး ေျမၾသဇာမွ တပ္လွန္႔ႏိႈးၿပီ

leave a comment »

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

In shadow of Olympics, Myanmar mourns failed ‘88 uprising

leave a comment »

In shadow of Olympics, Myanmar mourns failed ‘88 uprising

Demonstrators gather in central Rangoon to protest against the government, in 1988

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protestors take it to streets of downtown Rangoon (Yagon)

Exiled Myanmar students hold a rally outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok

Ne Win

AFP –

6 August 2008

BANGKOK (AFP) — As China celebrates the start of the Olympics on Friday with much fanfare, activists in neighbouring Myanmar will silently mourn the bloody end of an uprising that crushed their dreams of democracy 20 years ago.

In August 1988, cities and villages across the country then known as Burma were bursting with optimism.

The military dictator Ne Win had just stepped down after decades of iron-fisted rule, and Burma was inspired by a prophecy that it would become a free nation on August 8 — known as 8-8-88.

Students who had already protested for almost a year against Ne Win’s socialist government called for a national uprising on the auspicious date, drawing activists, Buddhist monks, and even young military cadets into the streets clamouring for freedom.

“On August 8, it was not just one city or one area, it was all over Burma — everywhere, even the remote villages. It was not just students or monks or workers. Everybody was there,” said Win Min, then a medical student who helped organise the protests, and now a university professor in Thailand.

“We had high hopes that the situation could change, high hopes that democracy could come to Burma, high hopes that our economic problems would be solved,” he said.

But the euphoria was short-lived.

After dark on August 8, soldiers began shooting protesters in the streets of the then-capital Rangoon, beginning six weeks of bloodshed that left an estimated 3,000 dead.

The protests rumbled on amid the violence, powered by anger at the regime and the once-promising economy it had hammered into the ground.

In the swirl of near-anarchy, a new national leadership emerged in a country under dictatorship since 1962.

The previously obscure and expatriate daughter of a liberation hero, Aung San Suu Kyi, stood before crowds outside the golden Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26, making an eloquent call for democracy and instantly becoming the public face of the movement.

She was joined by veteran politicians and ethnic leaders, including some top generals who had grown disillusioned with the regime.

Without Ne Win, the government struggled to contain the unrest. A series of leaders within the regime rose and fell, until finally a group of generals seized power in a coup on September 18.

The new regime, calling itself the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), officially allowed the creation of opposition parties and moved to create a market economy.

But in reality, the junta clamped down on the democracy movement, placing Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest in July 1989. Twenty years later, she is still confined to her home, having only enjoyed a few brief years of freedom.

Even with their leader locked away, her followers in the new National League for Democracy (NLD) won elections in 1990, but were never allowed to govern.

Many student leaders were imprisoned and only released in 2005, when they quickly returned to activism.

They launched new protests against the ruling junta last August, only to be arrested again. Buddhist monks took over the protest movement, but were shot and beaten by security forces in September.

Tun Myint Aung is among the activists, now known as the ’88 Generation, who escaped arrest and continues to try to campaign against the regime while living in hiding.

“The only change has been to a worse condition,” he told AFP, when asked to asses his country’s progress in the past 20 years.

“Now the military junta and their relatives and cronies, this small group exploits our country’s riches. There are great gaps between a handful of military troops and the masses of people.”

The situation in Myanmar now appears worse than ever.

The democracy movement is in shambles after last year’s protests were crushed. The economy is moribund, and huge swathes of the country are still reeling from a devastating cyclone that hit three months ago.

Despite the grim outlook, Win Min says he still believes his country can change — eventually.

“Look at China’s progress,” Win Min said. “Myanmar is where China was 30 years ago.”

“If the economic situation of the people is not improved, there will be demonstrations again.”

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jAOZeK10DqAUMHPqJOJXDGRih6tg

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 6, 2008 at 3:41 am

World focus on Burma (6 August 2008)

leave a comment »

.

Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Samak of Thailand

MarketWatch –

We’re working together to help the people of Burma. We responded very quickly when Burma was struck by the terrible cyclone, and I want to thank you very …

UN rights envoy has brief meeting with NLD

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Aug 6, 2008 (DVB)–United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana spent ten minutes meeting three members of the National …

Emergency relief still a far cry for many cyclone survivors
Mizzima.com, India –
“We still need more funding from donors for emergency relief operations and early recovery efforts,” said Laksmita Noviera, spokesperson of UNOCHA in Burma.

Olympics: China revokes visa of US Olympic medallist and activist

guardian.co.uk, UK –

Still, other human-rights campaigners are using the Olympics to play up China’s alignment with the abusive military regime in Burma and its suppression of …

Guardian Weekly, UK –

Many people have requested me not to go back to Burma but I want to, 100% sure. I tried going back after the Nargis cyclone but I could not. …

Bush Addresses Human Rights Issues In China On Way To Olympics

RTT News, NY –

In what will likely be his last visit to the region while still in office, the President also urged China to respect human rights, a sensitive issue in the …

UN envoy meets Opposition party

Mizzima.com, India –

Chiang Mai – Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights met senior members of Burma’s major opposition party the National League for …

The Associated Press –

Bush’s Bangkok remarks devote only a few sentences to criticism for the “tyranny” in Myanmar, Thailand’s neighbor, which is ruled by a military junta. …

New refugee community center dedicated

LocalNews8.com, ID –

Moo, who emigrated with her family from Myanmar – the former Burma – was found dead in April. Salt Lake County prosecutors have charged 21-year-old Esar Met …

An auspicious, bloodstained day

International Herald Tribune, France –

8, 1988, in Burma, the day that changed my life and that of countless compatriots. Since eight is a lucky number in much of Asia, the Burmese people chose …

Bush to Reassure Asian Allies In Key Policy Speech in Bangkok
Wall Street Journal –
That collaborative approach is echoed in Mr. Bush’s planned remarks about Myanmar, also known as Burma. Myanmar’s repressive military regime is a source of ..

Myanmar Three Months Later

UN Dispatch –

For one, it shows that pundits who said that only forced intervention could help the people of Burma were wrong: [t]he aid operation in Myanmar — as is …

Disaster lessons

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Three months have passed since Cyclone Nargis and an accompanying tidal surge swept across Myanmar’s fertile Irrawaddy Delta region, claiming nearly 140000 …

Challenging prejudice: Thai attitudes to Burmese migrants

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

“People separate the cyclone from the other problems in Burma,” said Aphatsorn. At the end of December 2006 the ILO and the United Nations Development Fund …

US President Bush in Bangkok but with Myanmar in his sights (Roundup)

Monsters and Critics.com –

… visit Dr Cynthia Maung, who runs a clinic for Karen victims of the Myanmar military campaign in the Karen State of eastern Myanmar, also called Burma. …

St. Paul’s Karen refugees

MinnPost.com, MN –

In 1948, Burma (also known as Myanmar) received independence from Britain. In 1949, an ethnic minority called the Karen began fighting for independence. …

Bush’s Thailand trip turns heat on Myanmar

Reuters –

As well as the start of the Olympics in Beijing, Friday is the 20th anniversary of the former Burma’s “8-8-88” democracy uprising, when an estimated 3000 …

Burma’s social volcano ready to erupt

Mizzima.com, India –

Twenty years after the mass pro-democracy demonstrations brought Burma to a standstill for months and threatened to topple the country’s one-party state, …

Bush arrives in Bangkok on working visit

People’s Daily Online, China –

Bush is also expected to deliver a statement on the US stance regarding the political situation in Thailand’s neighbor — Myanmar, Thai Foreign Minister Tej …

Press Gaggle by Dana Perino and Anita McBride, Chief of Staff to …

Business Wire (press release), CA –

Thailand was an essential player in our efforts to get humanitarian assistance to the Burmese people after the cyclone, called Cyclone Nargis.

Students celebrate 1988 Burma protests with spray-paint campaign

First Post, UK –

Win Tin was visited in Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison this week by the UN’s new human rights rapporteur on Burma, Argentina’s Tomas Ojea Quintana. …

Burma Puppetry Show enthralls shoppers at Lamcy Plaza

Al-Bawaba, Jordan –

Lamcy Plaza, the country’s popular family shopping destination and a member of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, recently hosted the Burma Puppetry Show, …

Burmese Junta Fulfilled its Obligations, Time for International …

Embassy, Canada –

As country director for Save the Children in Burma, which the ruling military junta calls Myanmar, Mr. Kirkwood was at the forefront of organizing the …

Myanmar (Burma) Telecoms Market Overview & Statistics is Battling …

MarketWatch –

… Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/846c71/myanmar_burma) has announced the addition of the “Myanmar (Burma) – Telecoms …

Bush Arrives in Thailand on Second Leg of Asian Tour

Voice of America –

By VOA News US President George Bush has arrived in Thailand, where he will criticize China’s human rights record on the eve of his attending the opening …

Text of Bush’s planned remarks in Thailand

The Associated Press –

And the region has come together to respond to natural disasters, from the tsunami of 2004 to this year’s cyclone. With all these partnerships, …

Bush, First Lady’s Busy Days in Thailand

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The first lady has waged a vigorous campaign for human rights in Burma. Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag said Bush is expected to deliver a statement on the …

Bush vows to seek end to ‘tyranny’ in Myanmar

Straits Times, Singapore –

‘We seek an end to tyranny in Burma,’ he was to say, referring to the country by its previous name. ‘America reiterates our call on Burma’s military junta …

Myanmar’s Economic Woes Widen as Neighbors Thrive: Chart of Day

Bloomberg –

6 (Bloomberg) — Myanmar, already one of the world’s poorest nations, will lose about one-third of its normal food production this year because of a cyclone …

Inmarsat betting that airline broadband will take off

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

… Bgan, as charities, aid workers and the UN officials used satellite phones and internet connections during natural disasters in Burma and China. …

Maggots and MRSA

Channel 4 News, UK –

Meanwhile Asia correspondent and international editor Lindsey Hilsum will be reporting on repression in Tibet, and as new UN representative visits Burma …

Come Rain or Shine

Mizzima.com, India –

As your interest in Burma’s trials and travails is well documented, we would like to take this opportunity to alert you to the release of a new book …

Thailand hopes Bush visit will strengthen bilateral ties

Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

Mr. Tej said it is expected that Mr. Bush would deliver a statement on the US stance regarding the political situation in Myanmar. The Thai foreign minister …

Councilman’s aide, 3 others indicted in fraud

Philadelphia Inquirer, PA –

The Chawlas, who fled the military regime in Burma (now Myanmar) as children and now live in Bucks County, are among the city’s most active developers. …

UN Human Rights Envoy Meets Political Prisoners

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By MIN LWIN The new UN human rights envoy for Burma has met five prominent political prisoners in Rangoon’s Insein Prison, according to Aye Win, …

Thailand: Bush To Criticize Myanmar During Asia Trip

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

“If there is going to be any real change in Burma, China has to be on board,” said Larry Jagan, a Bangkok-based newspaper columnist and Myanmar analyst. …

US, S.Korea push North Korea on nuclear verification

Malaysia Star, Malaysia –

… the former Burma’s army killed an estimated 3000 people. First Lady Laura Bush will separately visit a refugee camp near the Thai border with Myanmar. …

Exiles Try to Rekindle Hopes for Change in Myanmar

New York Times, United States –

“We had a big hope that we would succeed,” said Mr. Win Min, who was a student leader in Myanmar, which was then known as Burma. …

UN Human Rights Envoy Meets Political Prisoners

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By MIN LWIN The new UN human rights envoy for Burma has met five prominent political prisoners in Rangoon’s Insein Prison, according to Aye Win, …

America to ban Myanmar rubies

Diamond World Magazine, India –

Clarifying the outlines of the Bill, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee noted that the bill requires that within 60 days, jadeite or rubies of Burma origin …

UN envoy meets top political prisoners in Myanmar

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

yangon • The new UN human rights envoy for Myanmar yesterday met some of the nation’s most prominent political prisoners inside the feared Insein Prison, …

SEAPA Newsletter: A review of Burma

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

August 8, 2008, marks the 20th anniversary of an important and tragic people’s uprising in Burma that resulted in the killing of an estimated 3000 people, …

Burma Without Blinkers

Washington Post, United States –

… are about to draw the world’s attention to persistent problems in Burma (also known as Myanmar), Thailand’s neighbor in Southeast Asia. …

When it Comes to China, Obama is Sounding Bush

The Epoch Times, NY –

He asked: “Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe?” Of course we should. …

AFP –

In August 1988, cities and villages across the country then known as Burma were bursting with optimism. The military dictator Ne Win had just stepped down …

Myanmar Cyclone Survivors Living in `Dire Conditions,’ UN Says

Bloomberg –

6 (Bloomberg) — Villagers in areas of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River Delta are living in “dire conditions” three months after Tropical Cyclone Nargis …

Burmese refugees coming to Rome; relocation efforts expanding …

Utica Observer Dispatch, NY –

In just the past few years, refugees from Myanmar, formerly Burma, have become one of the largest refugee groups that have relocated to the Utica area over …

Bush’s genuinely principled stand

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

On May 3, one week before a planned referendum on a military-drafted constitution, Burma was hit by its worst natural disaster in living memory. But Cyclone …

Aid Delivery In Burma/Myanmar Still A Challenge, United Nations Says

Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand –

5 August 2008 – Three months after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, delivery of sufficient relief and early recovery assistance remains a challenge, …

When justice becomes political

Arab News, Saudi Arabia –

What is the difference between what is happening in Darfur and Tibet, Zimbabwe and Burma? Legal experts will waste much ink explaining the differences and …

Burmese still struggling after cyclone

BBC News, UK –

By Nga Pham It has been three months since Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, leaving 130000 people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. …

UN says aid to Myanmar still a challenge

United Press International –

The military government of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, have insisted on overseeing the flow of aid into the country after Cyclone Nargis struck. …

Voice of America –

By VOA News A United Nations official says that three months after Cyclone Nargis devastated Burma’s Irrawaddy delta, aid workers still face a challenge in…..

US Drug Enforcement Agency Trains Vietnamese Counter-Narcotics Agents

Voice of America –

Heroin enters over the border from Laos, and most probably comes from Burma, the world’s number two heroin producer after Afghanistan. …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 6, 2008 at 2:05 am