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Archive for August 8th, 2008

Local dissidents mark the 20th anniversary of “8-8-88” bloody uprising

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Fearful residents mark Myanmar‘s “8-8-88” uprising

Fri Aug 8, 2008 4:29am EDT

Myanmar nationals living in Thailand and members of human rights groups chant anti-junta slogans and wave placards calling for the release of democracy icon and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok August 8, 2008.

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) – Cowed and afraid, people in Myanmar marked exactly 20 years on Friday since the army crushed an “8-8-88” democracy uprising with the loss of an estimated 3,000 lives, although the only protests were outside the country.

After last year’s widespread fuel-price rallies, the generals in charge of the former Burma were taking no chances, posting armed police and pro-government thugs at strategic sites, such as Yangon’s gilded Shwedagon pagoda.

Most of the leaders of the 1988 uprising, the biggest challenge to army rule dating back to 1962, have been behind bars since the start of the fuel-price demonstrations last August. They are just a few of an estimated 1,100 political prisoners.

“We are not planning any official ceremony, although some people might choose to do something in private,” Nyan Win, a spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy, said.

Others concurred, citing the daily struggle to survive in one of Asia’s poorest nations and a sense of the futility of protest that has lingered since 1988 and last year’s crackdown, in which at least 31 people were killed.

“Nobody is happy with the present situation, but most people know from experience that protests will not change their lives,” English teacher Hla Maung told Reuters.

Outside the pariah Southeast Asian nation, however, human rights groups and activists who fled the 1988 bloodshed staged demonstrations outside Myanmar and Chinese embassies.

China is being targeted on what is also the opening day of the Beijing Olympics because of its commercial and diplomatic ties to the generals, gate-keepers of Myanmar’s plentiful reserves of natural gas and other resources.

In Bangkok and Manila, dozens of protesters chanted anti-junta slogans, burnt Myanmar flags and waved placards calling for the release of democracy icon and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Yangon.


August 8, 1988 — 8-8-88 — was chosen as the focus of the uprising because of its numerologically auspicious connotations for most Burmese. It was also said to be a powerful foil to then military supremo Ne Win, whose lucky number was nine.

Now, it is remembered for something very different.

“As the world celebrates the opening of the Beijing Olympics, people should pause to remember the atrocities in Burma 20 years ago,” Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

“This anniversary is testament to the Burmese people’s enduring demand for freedom and to the world’s failure to end repressive military rule. And China, more than any other country, has enabled the survival of the brutal Burmese regime,” she said.

Meeting Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein in Beijing ahead of the Games, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he hoped Myanmar could sort out its problems “through democratic negotiation”, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“China will continue to follow a good-neighborly policy towards Myanmar, and work with the international community to help Myanmar overcome difficulties,” Xinhua quoted Wen as saying.

On Thursday, U.S. President George W. Bush used a visit to neighboring Thailand, home to more than 100,000 Myanmar refugees and more than a million migrant workers, to highlight the 1988 bloodshed and call yet again for Suu Kyi’s release.

“The American people care deeply about the people of Burma and dream for the day the people will be free,” he told dissidents and former political prisoners at an hour-long lunch.

(Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by David Fogarty)

REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Burma quiet on rally anniversary

Burmese activists shout a slogan in front of China Embassy in Bangkok on Friday

Chinese embassies were the target of some of Friday’s protests

The military authorities in Burma have imposed tight security in the main city, Rangoon, on the 20th anniversary of a major uprising.

Police and pro-government militias are stationed at strategic points in the city, including Buddhist monasteries.

Activists outside Burma are marking the anniversary with demonstrations.

The 1988 protests drew hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets, but ended with a violent clampdown and the deaths of at least 3,000 civilians.

The date 8 August 1988 was significant for the superstitious Burmese, and marked the start of six weeks of rallies against military rule.

Until the 8/8/88 protests, Aung San Suu Kyi was only known as the daughter of liberation hero Aung San, but her speech to the assembled protesters during the rallies propelled her to the centre of the pro-democracy movement.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, told AFP news agency that the anniversary marked “an important historical turning point”.

Anti-China protests

The only sign of the anniversary inside the country was the heavy military presence, with riot police posted at busy intersections, the former campus of Rangoon University and the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.

Burmese soldiers face protesters in Rangoon on 26 August 1988

Additional barriers and a fire engine were also placed outside Aung San Suu Kyi’s home.

Elsewhere in Asia, though, human rights groups and activists who fled in the aftermath of the 1988 protests held demonstrations outside Burmese embassies.

They also protested outside the Chinese embassy in Bangkok.

“We are here because China is the main supporter of the military regime,” Kyaw Lin Oo, a Burmese activist, told reporters.

“We want the Chinese government to understand the actual cost of their support to the people inside of Burma,” he added.

“As the world celebrates the opening of the Beijing Olympics, people should pause to remember the atrocities in Burma 20 years ago,” added Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

In Rangoon, dissident Min Aung told the Associated Press: “I’ve totally lost hope that change will come through mass protests.

“It’s difficult to organise protests now because most of the leaders are in jail or in hiding.”

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 8, 2008 at 9:34 am

Posted in Varieties in English

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Suu Kyi’s party hails 1988 uprising as ‘turning point’ in Myanmar

8 August 2008

YANGON (AFP) — Aung San Suu Kyi’s party Friday hailed a 1988 pro-democracy uprising as a “turning point” in Myanmar’s history, as activists silently mourned the movement that was violently crushed by the military.

“This anniversary marks an important historical turning point in Myanmar’s politics. People will never forget it,” Nyan Win, spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), told AFP.

August 8, 1988 — a numerologically important date known as 8.8.88 — marked the beginning of a student-led uprising that drew hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of cities and villages across the country.

The movement capped a year of student protests that resulted in the former dictator Ne Win stepping down in July 1988. With the government in turmoil, the August 8 uprising quickly spread around around the country.

Soldiers opened fire to break up the crowds, but the unrest rumbled on for six weeks, until a group of generals staged a coup and reasserted total military control. An estimated 3,000 people were killed in the uprising.

Until then, Aung San Suu Kyi had been the little known daughter of slain liberation hero General Aung San. She had spent most of her life as an expatriate, settling into a comfortable life in British academia.

She happened to be in Myanmar — then known as Burma — to care for her ailing mother when the uprising erupted.

On August 26, 1988, she spoke to the crowds outside Myanmar’s holiest shrine, the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, and instantly became the public face of the movement.

After the coup she helped form the NLD, but was thrown under house arrest in 1989. Despite her detention, the party won 1990 elections in a landslide, but was never allowed to govern. Since her initial arrest, she has been allowed only a few brief years of freedom.

No remembrances were planned to mark the anniversary in Myanmar, and heavy police security was seen around Yangon — especially around Shwedagon Pagoda — to ward off any protests.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 8, 2008 at 4:41 am


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By Roland Watson
August 7, 2008

We have received additional intelligence that expands our last report, and which also provides confirmation for earlier reports. This intelligence comes from new sources. In summary, as we continue to receive information, the details of the SPDC’s nuclear program are becoming more and more concrete.

Nuclear program objective

In May 2001, at the National Defence College (Rangoon), SPDC Science and Technology Minister U Thaung said that Burma would make an effort to possess nuclear weapons by 2020. Once achieved, this would make the regime the strongest military power in
Southeast Asia; the country would be transformed into the “Fourth Burman Empire”; and, it would be able to threaten Thailand militarily.

This statement reveals the SPDC to be a grave threat to international security and peace. The regime’s announcement that its new 10 MW reactor is intended for peaceful research purposes is a lie.

Program background

The SPDC’s program to acquire nuclear weapons began in 1990. (At this time the junta was known as SLORC.) Rangoon University Physics Professor U Po Saw was consulted about developing the technology, and also the selection of candidates to become state scholars. The process of honing cadet officers for training in nuclear technology was begun in 1997 with Defense Services Academy Class 42.

Prior to 2000, Russian nuclear experts were invited and discussions on building a reactor, its location, and the training of state scholars, were held.

Our sources also tell us that the junta first contacted India to obtain nuclear technology. The country agreed to accept state scholars. However, since India also stipulated that it had to supervise and control the operation of the reactor, this approach was halted.

With the help of China, the SPDC succeeded in reaching its agreement with Russia. In addition, the Chinese government has advised the junta that it should try, by various means, to make nuclear weapons and, if it cannot produce them by its target date of 2020, that it should buy them.

In 2003, the regime sent thirty military officers to North Korea to study reactor technology. In 2006, it started buying from the North the machinery necessary for reactor construction. The SPDC established its connection with North Korea so it would not have to stop the program if its relations with Russia turned sour.

The SPDC sells natural resources to obtain nuclear technology, including for the costs of educating the state scholars (a new source confirms that there are over 4,600 in Russia alone). We have also learned that the resource sales included 20,000 tons of iron ore mined in Ka-thaing Taung, a range in the Hpakan area in Kachin State (near the famous jade mines). But, and as has been reported by others, the junta did experience financial problems in 2005 and its program with Russia was suspended. These difficulties were overcome, the program was restarted, and the SPDC is now financially secure. (The reason for this change of fortune is obvious. According to the new U.S. Burma law: “The Congressional Research Service estimates that the Yadana pipeline provides at least $500,000,000 in annual revenue for the Burmese Government.”)

Our new sources further tell us that the SPDC has secretly tried to gain assistance from Iran. This confirms a relationship that we have previously heard about from other sources.

Further, in 2000, Japan started taking scholars for doctoral level studies, to operate a reactor. With the help of Japan, new departments of nuclear science have been set up at Rangoon University, Mandalay University, and the Defense Services Academy.

Training in Russia

In 2001, the first batch of scholars, 150 military officers, was sent to
Russia from Tada U Airport on chartered Aeroflot flights.

In Russia, the scholars attend a variety of institutes in Moscow and also St.Petersburg, depending on their subjects of study. The schools include:

MEPHI – Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
MIET – Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology
MATI – Moscow Institute of Aviation Technology
MAI – Moscow Aviation Institute
BMSTU – Bauman Moscow State Technical University
MITT – Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology
MISI – Moscow Civil Engineering Institute
MSMU – Moscow State Mining University

MEPHI teaches nuclear science, MIET rocket guidance, MAI aircraft and space subjects, and MATI the technology for building rockets to carry satellites. There are also course programs in tunneling, uranium mining, and uranium ore refining.

Our new sources confirm that many of the scholars are unhappy. They were forced to go to Russia; their pay is too low; the harsh weather has caused them problems; and the medical care they receive is inadequate. They complained to the Burma Embassy in Moscow, and asked to be sent home. In response, the Directorate of Intelligence sent weekly instructions urging them to complete their work and to fulfill the national aim (to produce nuclear weapons). At one point former Foreign Minister U Win Aung came in person and told the students to finish their studies. He relayed a message from Vice Chief of Staff Maung Aye that anyone who married a Russian woman scientist and then returned to Burma would be rewarded.

Also, in 2002, Quartermaster General Win Myint as well as the Navy Chief, Air Chief and Transport Minister went to Russia and arranged for the training of twenty Air Force pilots, who would then take ten purchased MIG 29s back to Burma. They additionally discussed whether Burma should acquire aircraft carriers and submarines. In July 2002, Science and Technology Minister U Thaung went to Russia and signed the agreement for the acquisition and construction of the nuclear reactor.

Reactor Location

In our previous report we stated that the site of the reactor is Kyauk Pa Toe (aka Kyauk Pha Htoe), near Tha Beik Kyin. While we do not yet have a confirmation of this, we have received additional information about the SPDC’s efforts to keep its location secret.

Even the technicians who were trained to build the reactor were not allowed to know its site. In June 2006, there was an information leak, and the officers for the program were called to Naypyidaw and interrogated. This is apparently a reference to the information that was published by Bertil Lintner in a July 2006 Asia Times article, which said that North Korean technicians had been seen at Natmauk, a town to the east of Magwe.

We have now learned that a 10-megawatt reactor was being built (or was intended to be built) in Myaing Township, Magwe Division, and further that it was to use heavy water and, for that reason, that it would be able to produce plutonium.

This leaves us with two plausible reactor sites, Myaing Township and Kyauk Pa Toe. One scenario that could explain this discrepancy is that the SPDC’s original plan was to locate the reactor in Magwe, but that this subsequently changed, perhaps because, as The Irrawaddy reported, it is an earthquake zone. In any case, while Magwe remains a possibility, there is also a strong source identification for Tha Beik Kyin.

Uranium activities

We have received additional information about Burma’s uranium deposits, which helps confirm our prior reports. Uranium ore that is commercially exploitable exists in the Kyauk Pyon, Paungpyin and Kyauk Sin areas. In addition, uranium prospecting has occurred or is underway in southern Tenasserim, Karenni State (the Loikaw area), Moehnyin in Kachin State, and in areas west of Taunggyi.

Uranium milling is in progress at Tha Beik Kyin. Further, and as we speculated in our last report, we have received information that a program to enrich milled uranium (yellowcake) to U-235 has also begun at Tha Beik Kyin. The entire operation at this location is now referred to as Nuclear Battalion-1.

We have also had confirmed that in early 2006, yellowcake was sold to North Korea. In July 2006, the regime purchased from North Korea nuclear activation equipment for use in uranium enrichment and also for the production of plutonium. While we do not know the precise nature of this equipment, there is a good probability, given the other information, that it includes centrifuges. At least one North Korean nuclear expert is now working in Tha Beik Kyin.

We further have confirmation that a related Military Research Center was built in the Setkhya range (aka Sa Kyin) near Lun Kyaw, which area is also reportedly a Nuclear Battalion, and that there is a Civilian Research Center in Kyaukse Township. There are also Russian nuclear experts in Pyin U Lwin, who give refresher courses to the state scholars after they return home.

Military modernization and Napyidaw defense

The SPDC has made a great effort to purchase major weapons systems and to modernize its armed forces. We can now report the following significant acquisitions.

In 2002, the junta bought 122 mm howitzers from North Korea. From China Northern Industries Corporation, it bought fifteen large radars for air force use. These radars were installed at Mingaladon Air Force base; Namsan Air Force base; the radar base at the top of Nat-ye-gan Mountain in Ann Township; Hainggyi Island radar base; and Koko Island radar base. Moreover, for sea and coastal security the regime installed naval-use radars, on Pyin Wain, Take Soon and Ta-pin-hmaw islands in the Irrawaddy Division; on Kyun Thaya, Mayu, Man-aung and Nantha islands in Arakan State; and on eight islands in Tenasserim Division. In 2002, it also bought, from Russia, ten MIG-29s; as well as, in February 2005, missile launchers and trucks; and, in November 2006, 122 mm and 240 mm missiles.

Naval officers are enrolled in training courses in India and Russia. In India, they attend a Ship Simulator Course, and in Russia Anti-Ship Firing and Missile courses. From September 2007, the SPDC started to buy twenty-eight anti-ship missile carriers, in batches, and the related missiles. India together with China are also both selling and giving weapons to Burma. In 2007, India gave 76 mm and 75 mm mountain batteries and 120 mm anti-aircraft batteries, for ten anti-aircraft battalions.

Before 2000, there were only two artillery divisions in Burma. By 2004, the heavy weapons force had been expanded to ten artillery divisions and one rocket division.

Since the move of the military headquarters to Pyinmana, fiber optic cables have been used to communicate with the regional commands. A Wide Area Network (WAN) is used to connect strategic locations including the defense perimeter of Naypyidaw, the radar bases in Rangoon Division, the air force bases, the naval bases, etc. In addition, for the defense of Pyinmana, the ten battalions of MOC 6 are posted in the area. An anti-aircraft battalion is stationed at Taung Nyo in the Pegu Yoma range, another anti-aircraft battalion is to the east of Wegyi and Thawutti, and a number of anti-aircraft missiles are based in Pyinmana itself. For additional security for Naypyidaw, two armored battalions are stationed between Pyawbwe and Pyinmana towns, and three artillery battalions and the No. 901 Artillery Operation Command are in the Bawnetgyi-Payagyi area, in Pegu Division.

For signal communications security, the SPCD is developing its own wireless systems. Prior to 2006, XD-D6M machines were used. They could generate wavelengths of from .01 to 99 meters, and the signal could be intercepted easily. For that reason, the SPDC instructed the Armed Forces Main Communications Factory to produce new devices. In 2006, the factory created a new wireless device, with Chinese technical assistance, and it was tentatively named 2006M1. The new machines produce wavelengths of from .00001 to .00009 meters. It is reportedly quite difficult to intercept messages sent over the new machines.

The SPDC is also developing computer software to replace the manual firing programs for the 76 mm and 120 mm artillery, mortars, 25 Pounder and 105 mm howitzers, etc. There has also been software research for forward observation systems both from the ground and the air.

The defense industry factories No. 16 and 19 have been extensively modified so that they may produce spare parts. (Chinese and Russian weapons are notorious for regularly needing replacement parts, and the weapons also wear out more quickly in the tropics.) The SPDC had Chinese and North Korean experts modify factory No. 14 so that it is able to produce medium-range rockets. Construction of factory No. 14 was started in 2000 in Ngapeh Township of Magwe Division and it is believed to be in operation. Approximately 3,000 military engineers are working in the factory. (Note: Our last report estimated that it would be five years before the SPDC could produce medium-range rockets, but it referred to Russian-made guided rockets, so this could be a separate project.)


The fact that the SPDC is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons (not to mention all of its other programs) should make the leaders of Thailand, and the world, extremely concerned. The appeasement policy of the Thai government and the International Community towards the junta must be reversed. The SPDC is a threat of the greatest severity. It must be stopped. Since the Security Council, with Russian and Chinese vetoes, is unable to act, there must be an alternative solution. The only real options are for the U.S., either alone or with other concerned nations (Thailand?), to assist the people of the country to free themselves, using whatever means are required.

At the moment, though, there is a conspiracy of silence even to acknowledge this threat. Thailand, the U.S. and other nations are preoccupied with other problems. There is no desire to recognize publicly another new crisis. We therefore must force the issue.

We at Dictator Watch recognize the need for the media to confirm its sources and to only publish news after it has been verified. But, we also understand that there is such a thing as investigative journalism. For situations as serious as this, we are surprised that there are apparently not major investigations underway, by leading media outlets. After all, there are innumerable dissatisfied people inside the SPDC, including many who should have knowledge of the intelligence that we have revealed. It should not be that difficult to secure independent confirmation.

Our reports to date have served to alert the Burmese, NGO and intelligence communities, but because there has been no major media coverage the world at large is as yet uninformed. Most importantly, this lack of coverage means that political leaders, in Thailand, the U.S., at the U.N., etc., can continue to act as if there is not a problem.

The fact that the new U.S. Burma law requires the Secretary of State to prepare a report on the SPDC’s programs for weapons of mass destruction is a good start, and something to which we would be pleased to contribute. However, a threat of this severity requires more than a report.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 8, 2008 at 3:05 am

World focus on Burma (8 August 2008)

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Human rights message as Games begin

The Press Association –

Demonstrators from Tibet, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma joined forces to protest against human rights violations and China’s hosting of the Olympics. …

Tears and pride as Games opening is watched in UK

BBC News, UK –

Protesters from Tibet, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma joined forces to voice their anger about human rights violations. Back in Trafalgar Square, …

20 Years Since Thousands of Pro-Democracy Activists Killed in Burma

Vatican Radio, The Vatican –

In Myanmar, also known as Burma, the military junta arrested 48 activists for a protest to mark the anniversary. Mark Farmaner is Director of the Burma …

New York Times Blogs, NY –

“China, more than any other country, has enabled the survival of the brutal Burmese regime,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch …

Anti-China activists face federal criminal charges


A protestor wearing a photograph of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi shouts as he stands outside the Chinese Embassy on August 8, …

Christian Rights Group Wants UN to Intervene in Burma Crisis

Christian Post –

The UK-based human rights organization is pressing for key members of the military junta to be brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes …

Authorities arrest rights activist and ABFSU members

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Aug 8, 2008 (DVB)–Three All Burma Federation of Student Union members and a member of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network have been arrested by …

Burma comic on cyclone charges

The Australian, Australia –

Cyclone Nargis left 138000 people dead or missing in early May. After the storm, Burma’s military regime was criticised for blocking foreign relief supplies …

Voice of America –

The protests pushed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi into the political limelight and helped her found the NLD to challenge army rule. Burma’s ruling …

RP drops anti-Myanmar stance for ASEAN charter, Philippines –

… said Congress would find “extreme difficulty in ratifying the charter” until military-ruled Myanmar (Burma) freed Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Tough words from Mrs Bush for Burmese junta

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

… of the military crackdown that crushed Burma’s nascent democracy and left the leader of the democratic forces, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest. …

No moving backwards for Myanmar

Amnesty International –

Three months ago, the government wilfully neglected its people when Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar. Relief workers, diplomats, journalists, and Burmese …

Bin Laden Driver Given Lenient Sentence

Democracy Now, NY –

Internationally, we wish they use their veto power at the UN Security Council and stop supporting brutality in Tibet, Myanmar and Darfur. …

Burma’s bitter remembrance of ‘8/8/88’, UK –

Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) overwhelmingly won the 1990 elections, remains under …

Remembering 88: Fighting for what is ours

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

In September 2007, the people of Burma yet again made an attempt to gain the rights that they deserve and the military government responded to it in the …

Breakfast of Champions 8/8: Burmese Democracy
Minneapolis City Pages, MN –
… of the Olympics in Beijing — another event that affects Burma. I wonder if they ever think about calling off August in the nation now known as Myanmar. ..

200 anti-Olympic protestors gather at Chinese embassy in London

Monsters and –

Demonstrators from Tibet, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma joined forces to protest against human rights violations and China’s hosting of the Olympics. …

David Cook: Olympics, Day One

The Chattanoogan, TN –

So, as it hosts the Olympic Games, China also works to shut down democracy in Burma, where human rights violations are commonplace, and Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Thailand urges US to adjust ‘priority’ ranking

Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

Also, Thailand had expressed concerns to the US on its trade sanctions against Myanmar, Mrs. Nongnut said. The sanctions affected not only the Myanmar …

The 1988 demonstrations in Myanmar

The military rulers fear a repeat of the 1988 demonstrations Photo:

AFP/Getty Images, United Kingdom –

Police and militia have staged a show of force in Burma on the eve of the 20th anniversary of a major uprising which left 3000 civilians dead. …

Crackdown on Burmese aid workers

The Age, Australia –

BURMA’S most famous comedian has been charged in a secret court, along with a sports writer and two activists, apparently for their role in delivering aid …

White House Fact Sheet: The United States and Asia: Enduring …

ISRIA (subscription), DC –

President Bush will meet with Burmese human rights activists and restate the call on Burma’s military junta rulers to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other …

Human rights message as Games begin

The Press Association –

Demonstrators from Tibet, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma joined forces to protest against human rights violations and China’s hosting of the Olympics. …

Security tight for 20th anniversary of Burma protests, Canada –

About 100 gathered outside the Burma Embassy in Bangkok, chanting “Free Burma, Free Aung San Suu Kyi,” and throwing three red airplanes over the wall that …

Bush criticizes China before Beijing visit

Ocala, FL –

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 …

Bush Committed to Burma Issue, Say Activists

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Thaung Htun, a representative for UN Affairs of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, the government in exile, said, “Since the Burmese …

US First Lady Laura Bush yesterday visited IOM’s refugee …

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

The First Lady, who was accompanied by her daughter Barbara, saw IOM cultural orientation trainers preparing refugees for resettlement in the US and saw off …

Business Round-up (August 8, 2008)

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

“[The fact] that each dollar of aid must be converted with Myanmar’s [Burma] military government for a foreign exchange certificate with, now, 80 percent of …

world briefs

Bryan College Station Eagle, United States –

Mrs. Bush, who is traveling in Asia with President Bush, flew to the Thai border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, to visit the Mae La refugee camp and a …

Apprehensive of protests, junta tightens security in Rangoon, India –

New Delhi – Security in Burma’s former capital of Rangoon has been stepped up several notches with rumours of impending protests swirling around the city, …

Those who talk, those who walk

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –

That is, Burma will remain immune from Thai and most ASEAN pressure to reform, and Thailand itself will continue to see US military sales to the country …

US President Bush visits Bangkok, Thailand

ISRIA (subscription), DC –

America reiterates our call on Burma’s military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. We’ll continue working until the people of …

Laura Bush’s Myanmar crusade

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –

In 2003, Congress passed the Freedom and Democracy Act after an attack on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s motorcade by government-organized thugs …

‘Intl community should push for political reforms in Myanmar’

Economic Times, India –

“As the world celebrates the opening of the Beijing Olympics, people should pause to remember the atrocities in Burma 20 years ago,” said Elaine Pearson, …

Burma In The Shadow Of The Olympics

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

All this is so very applicable in the Myanmar of today. Members of the Burmese junta could not have acted out of love when they used naked force to smash …

CSW wants UN to intervene in Burma crisis

ChristianToday, UK –

by Anne Thomas Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for “urgent, specific and meaningful action” from the UN to address Burma’s ongoing political and …

Searching for Democracy Twenty Years On

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Paradoxically, the regime led by Snr-Gen Than Shwe thought it could save the country from “disintegration” and “anarchy.” The most disturbing thing is the …

Arakanese Community Stages Protest in Dhaka against 2010 Election

Narinjara News, Bangladesh –

… Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo, because their detention is unjust and unfair, and is furthermore against the current laws of Burma,” said Ko Kyaw Myint. …

Myanmar nationals living in Thailand and members of human rights groups chant anti-junta slogans and wave placards calling for the release of democracy icon and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok August 8, 2008.

Reuters –

… burnt Myanmar flags and waved placards calling for the release of democracy icon and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in …

Burmese activists shout a slogan in front of China Embassy in Bangkok on Friday

Chinese embassies were the target of some of Friday’s protests

BBC News, UK –
Until the 8/8/88 protests, Aung San Suu Kyi was only known as the daughter of liberation hero Aung San, but her speech to the assembled protesters during …

Bush Calls On Myanmar, China To Respect Rights

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey –

“America reiterates our call on Burma’s military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners,” he said. “We will continue working until …

William Holston Jr.: Rally tonight in Dallas to support Burmese …

Dallas Morning News, TX –

Within two years, one of the young activists, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, received the Nobel Peace Prize. She was unable to attend the ceremony, however…

Myanmar activists mark 20th anniversary of crushed democracy

Monsters and –

… which he promised to ‘seek an end to tyranny in Burma,’ and reiterated the call for Myanmar’s regime to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who …

US president’s trip to China starts off on a frosty note

Press and Journal, UK –

Mr Bush has said he wants to enjoy the 2008 Summer Olympics, but also will talk to President Hu Jintao about human rights and a host of other bilateral …

Activists rally in Philippines for democracy in Myanmar

Monsters and –

‘Sports, according to the Olympics charter, should promote human rights and social justice,’ said Egoy Bans, spokesman for the Free Burma …

Myanmar’s bloody “8-8-88” uprising remembered, UK –

… laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Yangon. In the Philippine capital Manila, activists from the Free Burma Coalition and Amnesty …

Security tight on anniversary of Myanmar uprising

The Associated Press –

He later joined about 100 others outside the Myanmar Embassy. They chanted “Free Burma, Free Aung San Suu Kyi” and threw red paper airplanes with the …

Dublin event to mark anniversary of Burma uprising

Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom –

An event is due to be held on Dublin’s O’Connell Street this afternoon to mark the 20th anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising in Burma. …

China rebuffs Bush speech

Denver Post, CO –

By Steven Lee Myers First lady Laura Bush sits with students during a visit to a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border Thursday. …

For peace in Nagaland, dialogue among Nagas must succeed (Commentary)

SINDH TODAY, Pakistan –

But Muivah and Swu stood firm along with Khaplang, their comrade in western Burma (Myanmar), and forced a split in the NNC, one which gave birth to the NSCN …

Stuck between the summit and the roundtable

Business Day, South Africa –

Help to Cuba and the Palestinians, blocking UN managerial reform, and manoeuvring around tougher action on Burma and Iran. None of this does one bit for …

Shame on China — and the IOC, FL –

When IOC Vice President Kim Un-Yong was jailed a few years ago, charged with embezzling millions and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks …

Myanmar revolt crackdown remembered, Qatar –

However, Bush also heard criticism of Washington’s stance towards Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, for forcing the generals into isolation. …


Guide and Gazette, UK –

In June, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy published a joint statement, in an open letter to Burma’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi: “We wish to use this …

China tells Bush to stay out of its affairs

Dispatch Online, South Africa –

Burma – called Myanmar by the regime – marks the 20th anniversary of a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists today. Laura Bush flew for the day to …

The Games They Play in Burma, New Zealand –

by J. Sri Raman, On August 8, a small team of six athletes from Burma is scheduled to participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing. …

Olympic Expectations

Bangor Daily News, ME –

… for human rights, harsh treatment of Tibet, its omnipresent censorship and its financial dealings with morally corrupt regimes in Sudan, Burma and Iran. …

Conditions in Myanmar much starker than previously assessed, AP finds

Kansas City Star, MO –

… assistance to enable them to rebuild their lives,” said Andrew Kirkwood, who heads the aid agency Save the Children in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

Crazy eights: Chinese, wedding parties and birthday celebrators …
Naples Daily News, FL –
The sole exception would be in Burma, officially known as Myanmar, where such a protest would likely be considered suicide. On August 8, 1988, which has one ..

Rights groups cry for freedom of ‘prisoners of conscience’

Cebu Daily News, Philippines –

At that time in Myanmar, Burmese students gathered and staged demonstrations calling for democracy. These quickly spread in different parts of Myanmar until …

Myanmar’s bloody “8-8-88” uprising remembered, UK –

After last year’s large-scale fuel-price rallies, the generals in charge of the former Burma are taking no chances, with extra police and pro-government …

Myanmar Still A Disaster

The Moderate Voice –

It is sad to say that there will probably be very little done to help the suffering people of Burma/Myanmar. (1) The Moderate Voice’s comments are hosted by …

Chinese FM conveys congratulations on 41st anniversary of ASEAN …

Xinhua, China –

8, 1967 for boosting regional integration, ASEAN later absorbed Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia as its members. …

Burmese recall uprising

Radio Australia, Australia –

LAMEY: It speaks volumes about Burma that the country of 47 million can muster only 6 athletes to compete in Beijing. And for many in that country, …

Bush Criticizes China In Bangkok Speech


BEIJING — President George W. Bush arrived in China Thursday on a trip that his aides hope will keep a positive focus on the Olympic spirit while showing …

Bush annoys Chinese with human rights speech

Birmingham Star, AL –

… watching Hu’s color on his face, doing nothing to give a hand to help Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi to get released from house-arrest; now visiting China, …

UN rights envoy ends Burma visit

The Standard, Hong Kong –

A United Nations human rights envoy held “constructive” talks with junta leaders in Burma and was allowed to meet with detained pro-democracy activists …

The Sarcasm Revolution

Contra Costa Times, CA –

Political satire remains a dangerous pastime in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. But Maung Yit and two other local Myanmar exiles use their comfortable …

The two sides of 8888, UK –

But the number eight holds a further significance today, for it is exactly 20 years since the 8888 uprising in Burma. What started out as a student-led …

Ending the junta, UK –

Today the generals of Burma – officially the State Peace and Development Council – mark an unofficial 20th birthday of sorts. Twenty years ago to the day …

China key to Burma’s ‘survival’, UK –

Attempts by the United Nations security council to place limits on the junta have been stymied by China and Russia, who have blocked sanctions and arms …

Philippines: Myanmar Exile Calls For More Pressure On Generals

Khun Myint Tun, right, Member of Parliament Union of Burma who won a seat during the national elections in 1990 but not allowed to assume power, is joined by Filipino supporters during a press conference. (Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Pat Roque)

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

Khun Myint Tun, right, Member of Parliament Union of Burma who won a seat during the national elections in 1990 but not allowed to assume power, …

Myanmar: Dissident Myanmar Comic Charged By Court

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

The UN estimated Myanmar to have more than 1100 political prisoners. Quintana said he has asked the government to let him return to Myanmar in March 2009 …

Asia after Bush

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

The cause of Burma’s freedom, democracy and human rights was poignantly served but whether Mr Bush and his wife’s gestures will make any difference on the …

Secret court may jail Burma comic Maung Thura for helping Cyclone …

Times Online, UK –

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, left Rangoon last night after a four-day visit during which he went to Insein jail …

Myanmar: Dissident Myanmar Comic Charged By Court

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

Before he was detained, Zarganar said he and more than 400 entertainers in Myanmar volunteered to help victims of the cyclone, making several trips to …

Bush arrives in Beijing

International Herald Tribune, France –

… his Thursday speech represented criticisms of China, though he also criticized the authoritarian leaders of North Korea and Myanmar, the former Burma. …

PRESS DIGEST – Thai newspapers – Aug 8

Reuters –

US President George W. Bush said the United States sought an end to tyranny in Myanmar as he and first Lady Laura Bush spent much of their time in Thailand …

US to keep pressure on Burma

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

THANIDA TANSUBHAPOL and AP United States President George Bush yesterday vowed to continue exerting pressure on Burma’s military regime. …

Why US president met the Burmese at envoy’s house

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

The process was secretly and carefully arranged, given the sensitivity of the issue, which could have affected Thailand’s relations with Burma. …

The First Lady Visits Refugees From Myanmar

New York Times, United States –

Than Shwe, the head of the military junta, that “the time for a free Burma is now.” Another image from Laura Bush’s camp visit. …

No moving backwards, despite the junta

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

If the future is to be better, the United Nations’ Security Council and Burma’s Asian neighbours must cease turning a blind eye to human rights violations …

20th Anniversary of the 8888 Uprising (press release), New Zealand –

Today (8 08 2008) marks the 20th anniversary of Burma’s largest national democratic uprising when millions of Burmese citizens bravely marched through the …

What if you gave a dinner party and the Axis of Evil came?

USA Today –

Q: Speaking of Burma, what are your thoughts on the ethics of making tourist visits to countries with long, dark records of human-rights abuses? …

Stop the dream, I want to get off

Ha’aretz, Israel –

And the presidents of Zimbabwe, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan and North Korea will also be there – all of them criminals against humanity and bosom buddies of the …

A round-up of today’s world news

Irish Times, Ireland –

RANGOON – The new United Nations human rights envoy to Burma, Argentine lawyer Tomas Ojea Quintana, met five prominent political prisoners on his first trip …

Bush In Bangkok Blasts Burma & China, New Zealand –

On Thursday (August 6), President Bush visits the Mercy Center, a slum-based group of schools, AIDS hospices, orphanages, and medical clinics in Bangkok run …

Time to unite for real cause

The Canberra Times, Australia –

Dr Thaung Htun is the Representative for United Nations Affairs of the Burma UN Service Office, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, …

Olympics Demonstration in London, UK –

Representatives of Burma, Sudan, Tibet and Zimbabwe will lay flowers in mourning for the deaths of millions of victims of dictators supported by China. …

Jolie plans to build an AIDS clinic in Ethiopia

Birmingham Star, AL –

“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.

Regret, anger for Burma’s ’88 uprising exiles

ABC Online, Australia –

On the day now stamped in his memory as 8.8.88, Nyo Ohn Myint was certain that change was finally within reach in his military-ruled homeland of Burma. …

Voice of America –

Burma’s government also sat on visa applications from the United Nations and humanitarian agencies. It took pressure from the UN and the Association of …

Behind the story: it’s like arresting Rowan Atkinson or Ricky Gervais

Times Online, UK –

But the work to which they committed themselves — raising and distributing aid to the victims of the cyclone — was inescapably political. …

The Hypocrisy of The Democrats

ProLife Blogs –

Excerpts from it show how hypocritical he is: Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? …

Bush says US firmly opposed to China’s repression

Amador Ledger-Dispatch, CA –

The president plans 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 …

President and Mrs. Bush Visit USAID Programs in Thailand

MarketWatch –

The Bushes also were briefed on USAID’s ongoing work in Burma to ensure that the survivors of May’s Cyclone Nargis have access to food and the ability to …

UN Envoy Receives ‘Good Signs’ From Burma

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN Human Rights Council investigator for Burma, plays with Burmese schoolchildren as he inspects cyclone-davasted Irrawaddy river delta at Kyaukalat village, 05 Aug 2008

Voice of America –

By VOA News The United Nations human rights envoy for Burma says he received “good signs” that the ruling junta accepted his need to investigate allegations …

Bush calls for freedom in China

The Canberra Times, Australia –

The President planned to quickly pivot from his speech to a full day of outreach toward the people of Burma, who live under military rule across the border. …

Voice of America –

By Pros Laput Some Burmese had expressed hope that Cyclone Nargis would lead to the collapse of the military government. The cyclone, which hit Burma three …

The real challenge for China: what does it do after the Games?

The National, United Arab Emirates –

… nuclear concerns, but is increasingly criticised for its silence on Burma and Darfur, treatment of the Tibetan crisis and its own human rights record. …

UN Burma envoy concludes first visit

Radio Australia, Australia –

The new UN human rights envoy for Burma has wound up a five-day visit to the country saying he’s received positive signs the military government accepts his …

Burma: No Rights Reform 20 Years After Massacre

Human Rights Watch (press release) –

China’s actions, such as blocking UN Security Council action on Burma, have frustrated efforts by the Burmese people to enlist other countries and the …

US President Leaves Thailand for China

RedOrbit, TX –

… are different from the US’s interest on Burma,” said Win Min, one of nine Thailand-based Myanmar dissidents who lunched with Bush Thursday in Bangkok.

Bush Goes Looking for Relevance, A Legacy in Asia

Huffington Post, NY –

While in Bangkok, Bush plans to meet Burmese activists, while first lady, Laura — a bit of Burma activist herself — trips up to Mae La, the largest of the …

UN rights envoy meets Myanmar political prisoners

Reuters –

The former Burma’s military rulers are generally impervious to outside pressure, but have allowed in UN representatives since they crushed pro-democracy …

‘India must review its policy on Burma’

Howrah News Service, India –

He felt India’s ties with the junta has not been good for the people of Burma. “There is no trickle-down effect on the people,” he said, alluding to huge …

The Associated Press –

… assistance to enable them to rebuild their lives,” said Andrew Kirkwood, who heads the aid agency Save the Children in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

Bush slams China over rights record, Philippines –

Another focus of Bush’s visit to Thailand is neighboring Burma (Myanmar), which is under heavy US sanctions to try to bring an end to 46 years of unbroken …

McCain’s “League of Democracies” Proposal, Rejected by Allies …

AlterNet, CA –

India, the world’s largest democracy, has also been reluctant to enlist in various campaigns, such as isolating Burma or Iran, which Washington and its …

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 …