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Archive for August 20th, 2008

Petition for UN Special Envoy Mr. Gambari

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To:  “UN” Special Envoy “Mr. Gambari” to “Burma”

We Burmese patriots welcome United Nations Special Envoy, Mr. Gambari, for his trip to Burma on Monday, August 18, 2008, to mediate a national reconciliation process. Also, based on our long knowledge of Burmese politics, we would like to give some positive suggestions to him for democratization in Burma in a meaningful way.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) Party recently issued a statement that it would like Mr. Gambari to emphasize only a dialogue between NLD and State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). NLD leadership is not comfortable with Mr. Gambari’s advice, encouraging NLD to enter the proposed 2010 elections. This advice directly neglects the 1990 election results. We totally agree with NLD’s stand on abiding by the 1990 election result. That election expresses not only the will of the citizens of Burma; it is also a necessity for a peaceful democratization process.

The SPDC manipulates the UN body for its own benefit to hold on to political power. The previous UN special envoy, Mr. Razali Ismail, believed that the regime possessed a desire for democratic change because each time before he visited Burma the regime released some political prisoners to fool him into thinking they were moving in a positive direction. However, years passed by and not one dialogue occurred between NLD and the dictators. Finally, after Mr. Ismail was not allowed to visit Burma, he admitted in an article he wrote that the regime is not sincere.

Now Mr. Gambari is following in Mr. Ismail’s footsteps. The UN needs to know and learn from its past experiences when dealing with unethical regimes. From 1990 to the present, the UN has warned the regime against continuing its oppression with a series of statements regarding Burma issues such as human rights abuses and crackdowns on political parties and activists nationwide. However, there exists no effective action initiated by the UN. Mr.Gambari is accepting the regime’s seven steps road map and pressuring NLD, the opposition party, to cave in to the regime’s plan for “democracy.” Again, this is a regime that has shown itself to be insincere all too many times.

We sincerely urge Mr. Gambari to take courageous and efficient steps in moving Burma towards a genuine democratic transition rather than falling deeper into the trap of the illegal regime’s fake election in 2010. Below is what we would like Mr. Gambari to achieve for our country.

  • Convince the regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo, U Win Tin, Min Ko Naing, and other political prisoners.
  • Encourage SPDC to start a genuine political dialogue with NLD, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Convince the regime to allow independent newspapers, the third political power to educate the people in the truth of what is occurring in Burma and elsewhere. Without free and open discourse, Burma cannot have her beautiful democracy.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 20, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Gambari’s mission to Burma ‘disappointing’: opposition

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Gambari’s mission to Burma ‘disappointing’: opposition

Nem Davies

Wednesday, 20 August 2008 21:56

Mizzima

New Delhi – Leaders of Burma’s main opposition party –the National League for Democracy – on Wednesday met visiting United Nations special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, but said the meeting was ‘disappointing’.

The NLD leaders’ statement came after five members of the NLD Central Executive Committee led by party chairman Aung Shwe on Wednesday afternoon met Gambari at the government guest house for a brief 20 minutes.

Nyan Win, the NLD spokesperson, who was not at the meeting but was assigned to speak on behalf of those attending, said the meeting started at 3 p.m. (local time) and lasted for 20 minutes.

“It is disappointing. We want things implemented in keeping with the resolutions passed by the United Nations. We want to kick start national reconciliation,” Nyan Win told Mizzima over telephone.

The Nigerian diplomat, who arrived in Rangoon on Monday, has so far met Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win, Information Minister Brig Gen. Kyaw San and toured cyclone-hit areas in Rangoon division.

On Wednesday, he also met pro-junta student group the 88 generation students (Union of Myanmar) led by Aye Lwin.

Nyan Win said Gambari is drifting away from his main mission by meeting groups that the junta wants him to meet and not finding ways and means to meet key political players.

“He [Gamabri] just met social groups like 88 generation students (Union of Myanmar). These groups are all pro-junta groups,” Nyan Win said.

“We are disappointed to see that he [Gambari] is drifting away from his main mission of facilitating national reconciliation. If we look at where he is going and who he is meeting, it is hardly encouraging,” Nyan Win added.

During the meeting with the NLD leaders, Gambari said he will continue to call for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Win Tin and other political prisoners, and call for direct talks between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the regime.

Gambari also said that he will call on the Burmese government to implement economic reforms and urge it to allow him to open a liaison office in Rangoon so that he can maintain constant communication with the Burmese government.

But Nyan Win said, while Gambari told party leaders he will urge the government to conduct free and fair election in 2010, he failed to give his views on the results of the 1990 elections, when asked by the NLD leaders.

“When he talked about free and fair elections in 2010, we asked him about his views on the results of the 1990 elections. But he did not answer. He also declined to answer when we asked him what his mission was. And when we asked him whether he had met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, he said no, he is still trying,” Nyan Win said of the discussion between the NLD leaders and Gambari.

The meeting was attended by NLD chairman Aung Shwe, Secretary U Lwin, Thakhin Soe Myint, Than Tun and Nyunt Wai.

During his last visit in March, while Gambari was allowed to meet detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, he was barred from meeting junta supremo Snr. Gen. Than Shwe.

Gambari is currently visiting Burma for the fourth time since military rulers resorted to violence when it cracked down on peaceful protesters in September 2007.

http://www.mizzima.com/news/world/6-world/929-gambaris-mission-to-burma-disappointing-opposition-

UN envoy Gambari meets NLD leaders

Democratic Voice of Burma

Aug 20, 2008 (DVB)�National League for Democracy leaders told the United Nations special envoy in a meeting today that he should not discuss the 2010 elections, an NLD spokesperson said.

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met U Aung Shwe, U Lwin, U Nyunt Wei, U Than Htun and U Soe Myint at 3pm today for a 20-minute discussion.

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said Gambari had set out his objectives for his visit as pushing for the release of all political prisoners, negotiating for a direct dialogue between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and regime leaders and improving the country�s failing economic system.

Gambari also told the NLD leaders he planned to appoint a communications officer based in Burma to facilitate contact when the special envoy is out of the country himself.

The special envoy added that UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon would be visiting Burma again in December and this time would focus on political issues, in contrast with the humanitarian focus of his previous trip.

He also said the UN wanted international observers present for the 2010 elections.

Nyan Win said the special envoy did not answer the NLD leaders� questions on his opinion of the 1990 elections and the purpose of his current mission.

The party leaders were unhappy that Gambari had raised the issue of the 2010 elections, suggesting that he would support the elections despite the reports of vote-rigging and intimidation that marred the constitutional referendum.

“The NLD still refuses to accept the constitution which was approved by a referendum where there were several issues that still need to be talked about � we told Mr Gambari he should not discuss the 2010 election in these circumstances,” Nyan Win said.

Nyan Win said the NLD supported Gambari�s stated aims, but could not support the junta�s plans for the 2010 election.

“We have nothing to protest against his five-step plan for this trip � we actually like it,� Nyan Win said.

�But we were forced to have such a discussion only because he started talking about the 2010 elections. This leads us to think he agrees with the upcoming elections.�

The NLD spokesperson added that the party understood the difficulties the UN faced but called for action rather than rhetoric.

�We explained to him that we understood the limits of how far the UN can get involved in the situation and that there was nothing they can do about the two big powers,” Nyan Win said.

“We told him to stick to the purpose of his mission and that we will try very hard to keep understanding the UN,” he said.

“The pro-democracy forces in Burma, including the NLD, have told the UN special envoy their opinions during his previous trips, and now the next step is to actually put the ideas into action,� he continued.

�But now, we are only seeing more talking rather than action.”

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=1652

Gambari Fails to Meet with Suu Kyi

By SAW YAN NAING

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Irrawaddy

The United Nations special envoy to Burma failed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday as scheduled, according to Rangoon sources.

No reason was given for the failure, and there was speculation he could meet with her before his trip ends on Friday.

Rumors spread that Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader, was seriously ill. However, a National League of Democracy (NLD) official said she was well.

Meanwhile, five members of the central executive committee of Burma’s main opposition group, the National League for Democracy, and Gambari discussed issues including the release of political prisoners and reconciliation talks between Suu Kyi and the military regime, said Ohn Kyaing, an NLD member.

NLD executive committee members who met with Gambari included Chairman Aung Shwe, Secretary U Lwin and spokesperson Nyan Win. The meeting started at 3 p.m. and lasted about 20 minutes.

During the meeting, the UN envoy said he will try to obtain the release of political prisoners and the formation of genuine talks between Suu Kyi and regime leaders.

The UN envoy said he had already discussed several issues—including the release of political prisoners and a genuine dialogue with Suu Kyi—with Information Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan in their meeting on Tuesday.

Gambari said he had not received any response so far for the government, said Ohn Kyaing.

The envoy also discussed the junta’s scheduled general election in 2010 with NLD leaders, telling them he urged the regime to conduct open and fair elections.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is scheduled to visit Burma again in December to discuss the election and other issues with the military regime.

The envoy also told NLD members he was scheduled to meet a wide range of parties during his visit this week, said Farhan Haq, a UN spokesperson, including parties he has met on previous occasions.

During past trips, the UN envoy met Burmese generals including Snr-Gen Than Shwe, leaders of the NLD, Suu Kyi and junta-backed ethnic leaders.

Meanwhile, Burmese dissidents in exile have sent a petition to Gambari urging him to make efforts to move the junta toward a genuine democratic transition that goes beyond the scheduled 2010 elections.

They also asked Gambari to urge the regime to allow newspapers and other media to report news and information without censorship in order to educate the people about Burmese politics and the rest of the world.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13947

World focus on Burma (20 August 2008)

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Gambari’s mission to Burma ‘disappointing’: opposition
Mizzima.com, India –
On Wednesday, he also met pro-junta student group the 88 generation students (Union of Myanmar) led by Aye Lwin. Nyan Win said Gambari is drifting away from …

UN envoy meets Suu Kyi’s party, but fails to see her

AFP –
The Nigerian diplomat expressed concern over Myanmar’s crumbling economy, and said that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon could visit the country in December …

UN envoy Gambari meets NLD leaders

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Gambari also told the NLD leaders he planned to appoint a communications officer based in Burma to facilitate contact when the special envoy is out of the …

Burmese junta prevents Christians and Buddhists from providing …

AsiaNews.it, Italy –

Even the iconic figure of Myanmar’s pro-democracy struggle, Nobel prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is in a “civilian no-man’s-land as a result of her long …

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi skips meeting with UN envoy

Reuters –

The former Burma’s ruling generals threw a tight security cordon round the state guest house where Ibrahim Gambari and the 63-year-old Nobel laureate have …

UN chief expected to visit Myanmar in December

The Associated Press –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been in a political deadlock since 1990, when Suu Kyi’s party won a general election but was not allowed to take power by …

—–

88 Generation leaders mark 1 year in detention

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

The price of commodities has doubled since the demonstrators’ arrests and the price of consumer goods continued to increase since Cyclone Nargis hit Burma …

UN envoy Gambari expected to meet Daw Suu

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Pro-democracy groups have criticised Gambari for a lack of tangible success in his efforts to date to bring about political dialogue in Burma, and political …

Gambari Fails to Meet with Suu Kyi

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By SAW YAN NAING The United Nations special envoy to Burma failed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday as scheduled, according to Rangoon sources. …

UN Envoy Visits Bring Less Interest

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

.. Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar). The National Unity Party, a transformation of the Burma Socialist Programme Party which ruled the country …

Channel 4 News, UK –

Burma’s military junta had sought to impose total control over aid operations. And three months on, the United Nations says recovery assistance remains a …

Children Die in Chin State Famine

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Another Chin group, the Chin Human Rights Organization, said the famine had hit about 20 percent of the state’s population, or at least 100000 people. …

Insurers dispute facts regarding ties to Burma

Business Insurance, IL –

The Burma Campaign UK, which seeks to restore democracy to Burma, said on Tuesday that two insurers—XL Capital Ltd. in Hamilton, Bermuda and the Chubb Corp. …

Teacher goes to the aid of Burma’s needy

Sunderland Echo, UK –

The Karen area of Burma was devastated when Cyclone Nargis hit the country on May 2 this year, unleashing 120mph winds, torrential rain and flooding that …

Earthquake hits Yunnan, south-west China

InTheNews.co.uk, UK –

The US Geological Survey claims the epicentre was 140 miles west of Dali, in Yunnan and 40 miles south east of Myitkyina in Burma. …

Earthquake hits China-Burma border Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

Earthquake hits China’s border with Burma ABC Online, Australia –

Bangladesh Keen to Solve Maritime Border Issue

Narinjara News, Bangladesh –

… Bangladesh was keen to solve the maritime border dispute with Burma as soon as possible. “Finalization of the country’s maritime border with Myanmar is …

Myanmar teen refugees look for foster homes

Worcester Telegram, MA –

Myanmar, formerly Burma, has been in political turmoil since 1962 when a general staged a coup, banning political opposition and suspending the constitution …

Refugees from Iraq, Burma set to arrive

The Republican – MassLive.com, MA –

More than a half million refugees from Burma, also called Myanmar, have fled their homeland because of ethnic persecution. Nearly 200000 have been living in …

Resentment simmers in Burma a year after unabated crackdown

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi – The unabated crackdown by the military junta notwithstanding, resentment against the regime is not likely to diminish, activists and opposition …

UN envoy set to meet Suu Kyi: party

AFP –

YANGON (AFP) — UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari was expected to meet Wednesday with Myanmar’s detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, sources in her National …

ASEAN considers observer status for Burma’s elected government

Radio Australia, Australia –

“We got invited officially, which reflects, we believe, Indonesia’s support for the Burmese democracy movement and that it also wants to see change in Burma …

The North Korean Prison State

American Spectator –

She even charged that “There is a holocaust going on,” an overstatement, but an understandable one, since the North’s human rights abuses are grotesque and …

PEACETALK: Mindanao is not alone. By Kristian Herbolzheimer

Minda News, Philippines –

… politics; but others continued their armed struggle, claiming a greater Naga homeland extending over adjacent states and even into neighboring Burma. …

Diplomacy and Democracy

KanglaOnline, India –

… is still this element of suspicion and disguised hostility in the befriending of the military junta in Burma first by China and then followed by India. …

Olympic tally: RP trails SEA neighbors

Inquirer.net, Philippines –

The other SEA Games nations still struggling to land a medal, apart from the Philippines, are Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia, East Timor and Brunei. …

Myanmar: Not enough cash grant for cyclone victims

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Cyclone Nargis that lashed Burma in early May left at least 100000 households in Burma’s Irrawaddy …

Apocalypse Now? Miami Model Applied to Republican National …

Toward Freedom, VT –

Given that two former top advisers to Republican nominee John McCain have ties to the military junta in Burma, we’ll know where to look first. …

Sikhs in the Freedom Struggle

Mainstream, India –

They were expelled from the country and imprisoned in Mandalay in Burma. After their release Ajit Singh went to Canada and joined the Ghadar Party of which …

Report: Myanmar refugees waiting months for aid

Chicago Tribune, United States –

Fort Wayne is home to one of the largest communities of refugees from Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma. …

UN Envoy Tours Cyclone-Struck Areas in Burma

Voice of America –

By VOA News UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari toured Burma’s cyclone-struck Irrawaddy Delta Tuesday to observe recovery and reconstruction efforts. …

Kuwait Presents Result of Asia Trip

The Media Line, NY –

… of businessmen from the oil rich kingdom in the Gulf, visited Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Brunei and the Philippines. …

Ancient Parable, Urgent Time

ChristianityToday.com, IL –

Cyclone Nargis swept through Burma’s low-lying Irrawaddy Delta on May 2. The 2004 Asian tsunami had stripped the terrain of much of its protective …

Rocked out!

Australian Star, Australia –

Children from the school recently belted out some tunes to aid cyclone ravaged Burma. Parents watched on as students performed songs and dance routines. …

Burmese MPs urge recognition of ASEAN parliamentarians

Mizzima.com, India –

… accepting Burma as a member, the ASEAN has attracted severe condemnation by the international community for Burma’s failure to improve its human rights …

In pictures: Sketching Burma’s cyclone

BBC News, UK –

In the weeks following Cyclone Nargis, Burma’s military rulers refused to let foreigners into the devastated Irrawaddy Delta. …