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Archive for September 9th, 2008

At UN, Ingrid Betancourt Urges Ban to Act About Myanmar

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At UN, Ingrid Betancourt Urges Ban to Act About Myanmar, 15 Days of Silence Soon To Be Broken

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, September 9 — At the UN’s victims of terrorism symposium Ingrid Betancourt, recently freed from FARC kidnappers in Colombia and speaking just after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, threw in a reference to Myanmar’s democracy leaders under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi, saying “we must act.” Next to her, Ban appeared impassive. For the 15 days since his envoy Ibrahim Gambari left Myanmar without seeing Aung San Suu Kyi, Ban and his spokespeople have avoided any comment about Gambari’s visit, widely described as a failure. Now Ban’s own star witness has raised the issue. How Ban will react remains to be seen.

On September 8, Inner City Press asked Ban’s Spokesperson Michele Montas if the UN had received the four-page letter from the United Nationalities Alliance, a coalition of 12 ethnic political parties, which argues that the UN’s engagement with or for democracy in Myanmar is “broken.” The letter, which was copied to all five Permanent Members as well as the President of the Security Council, but not the President of the General Assembly, concludes

“Honestly speaking we, United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), truly worry to be broken the engagement of United Nations Organization of its efforts upon democratization, national reconciliation and human rights. So we, United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), would like to request you to reconsider the most effective ways and means appropriate for settlement of political situation in Burma (Myanmar).”


Ingrid Betancourt, looking not entirely unlike Aung San Soo Kyi

After Ms. Montas said she was “aware of that letter,” Inner City Press asked

Inner City Press: is there any response? They claim that the UN’s engagement in the democracy process is broken. That seems to be the phrase at the end of their letter.

Spokesperson: Well, I think you should probably wait until… we’re going to try and arrange for Mr. Gambari as soon as he is through talking to the Security Council to come and talk to you about these issues. And it is coming from there, so he is certainly able to answer you.

While Gambari’s belated press availability will be appreciated, Gambari is Ban’s envoy. The United Nationalities Alliance’ letter, like Ingrid Betancourt’s call for action, was directed to Ban Ki-moon. What is his response? We’ll see.

Footnote: After Ms. Betancourt’s speech, Sudan’s Ambassador to the UN told Inner City Press that it had been “politicized,” particularly the reference to Myanmar. “This is an expansion of the horizon of double standards,” he said. But viewed another way, Betancourt was disagreeing with the UN not only on speakin out about Aung San Suu Kyi, but also on “state terrorism.” Citing Aung San Soo Kyi in the victims of terrorism symposium implies that Myanmar’s military government is engaged in state terrorism. Sudan, along with members of the Arab Group and others, have disputed the UN’s exclusion from the symposium of victims of state terrorism. There are principles, and then there are situations: two different sets of eyeglasses. To be continued.

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http://www.innercitypress.com/un1assk090908.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 9, 2008 at 4:55 pm

World focus on Burma (9 September 2008)

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Opposition in exile launches campaign against Burmese junta’s …
Mizzima.com, India -
… in 2007 that called for a tripartite dialogue between the Junta, the National League for democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic groups. .

Myanmar emergency response continues
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland -
Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) continues to provide emergency relief in Myanmar (Burma) through the Action by Churches Together (ACT) …

.. would like to request you to reconsider the most effective ways and means appropriate for settlement of political situation in Burma (Myanmar). …

NLD members accused of medical offences
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
“Everywhere in Burma there are many people who keep syringes to help people in places were there are no doctors or medics,” Dr Aung Moe Nyo said. …

Film director Mike Tee arrested
Mizzima.com, India -
Burmese military junta authorities have arrested Burma’s prominent film director Mike Tee for alleged drug abuse, sources said. Though he was said to have …

Visa-On-Arrival proposal thrills Burmese tour companies
Mizzima.com, India -
Chiang Mai – A proposal to allow tourists to obtain visas on arrival by the Union of Myanmar Travel Association to the Burmese junta has triggered new hopes …

India Urges South Asian Cooperation Against Poverty, Disease
RedOrbit, TX -
He cited the recent cyclone havoc in Myanmar [Burma] and floods in Nepal and Bihar. Expressing empathy with the flood-affected people, he said the need of …

Angola: A Potential Powerhouse Inches Forward
World Defense Review -
Last month, Human Rights Watch issued a report which, citing intimidation of opposition parties and the media as well as interference with the electoral …

Cyclone refugee charged after submitting petition
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 9, 2008 (DVB)–Cyclone refugee U Nyan Win has been arrested in Naypyidaw where he was trying to secure the right for other survivors of Cyclone Nargis to …

Pakokku residents slam security forces’ inaction

Sep 9, 2008 (DVB)–Residents of Pakokku in Magwe division have criticised the actions of government security forces who failed to respond to an attempted robbery that took place in broad daylight. -

The stuff of nightmares for 21st century kids
International Herald Tribune, France -
The junta in Burma looks downright evil – refusing international aid after a cyclone, and starving its own citizens. Watching the resulting chaos erodes our …

Commemoration of Monk’s Death Muted in Arakan State
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Ashin Ottama was born in Arakan State, western Burma. As a child, he was selected to go to England to study, but his mother refused to let him go, …

Thai prime minister toppled by court for hosting cookery show
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom -
After taking office seven months ago Mr Samak personally cooked dinner for the Burmese prime minister, General Thein Sein, when he visited Thailand. …

RICS Strengthens Its Position in Hong Kong and Asia with More …
PR Newswire (press release), NY -
It also has members working across the region such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos PDR, Macao, Mongolia, …

Gambari Should Push for Tripartite Dialogue: UNA
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
Unless national reconciliation was established, the UNA warned, there would be no peace and tranquility in Burma. “What are the UN’s mandates assigned upon …

Refugees explain problems getting aid
Indianapolis Star, United States -
Fort Wayne is home to one of the largest communities of refugees from Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma. Refugees arrive in the US …

Veteran politicians call for end to hunger strike
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a true democratic leader whose party won the elections in 1990 and she is loved and respected by the people of Burma,” the …

Dissidents Dismiss Junta’s Allegations
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand -
The New Light of Myanmar also claimed that other dissidents, including more than a dozen NLD members, had left Burma to receive training to carry out …

Rambo-type people less likely to survive disasters!
Newstrack India, India -
To reach the conclusion, Gonzales reviewed miraculous tales of survival from catastrophes like the Burmese cyclone, September 11 attacks and the Boxing Day …

Vision Beyond Borders founder shaken by China experience
Billings Gazette,  USA -
The group also visited Myanmar, where Klein said Vision Beyond Borders continues to provide relief and aid to people affected by Cyclone Nargis. …

Mission leaves empty feeling
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune, WY -
“That medicine would have cost us $20000 to $30000 in the US” With about 60000 to 80000 orphans left behind in Burma, Klein said sex slavery is a …

Hawaii Doctors Help Cyclone Hit Myanmar
KGMB9, HI -
“We managed to get in only because we were sponsored by the chief monk in Burma,” said Dr. Carl Lum, Aloha Medical Mission. Two months after the storm, …

Two dead as monsoon floods hit northern Thailand
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland -
… to overflow for the second time this year due to heavy rains in Myanmar (Burma) that are causing the Mae Sai River to rise as it drains into the Mekong. …

Locked in Burma
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa -
It is hard to imagine what life must be like for Aung San Suu Kyi, locked up inside her Rangoon home, separated from her children, denied visitors, …

Burmese refugees want help getting aid
WTHI, IN -
Fort Wayne is home to 1 of the largest communities of refugees from Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma. The News-Sentinel of Fort …

Is Cold War Rhetoric Back at the UN?
Asian Tribune, Thailand -
Judging by the recent deadlock in the Security Council — over Kosovo, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Zimbabwe, Sudan and most recently Georgia — one wonders …

Analysis and Strategy: My Country First
Asian Tribune, Thailand -
Burma is a classic example and now the plight of Burma is the most highlighted in the world, what in Burmese we always boast “Myanmar Ko Kaba Thi Say Mae” . …

Miraculous survivors: Why they live while others die
CNN -
Whenever a disaster hits — a cyclone in Myanmar; an earthquake in China; a climbing accident in Alaska — Gonzales scans the headlines for the stories of …

Samak to ask Burma to let UN play a role in elections
Bangkok Post, Thailand -
Thailand will try to convince Burma to allow the United Nations to play a role in its general elections scheduled for 2010, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej …

Appeasing the junta _ the UN’s dangerous detour
Bangkok Post, Thailand -
Either way, the UN is taking a dangerous gamble on the goodwill of the Burmese junta. And even if the regime honours any promises that it may have made _ …

Opposition denies junta’s accusation of terrorism
Mizzima.com, India -
Khin Yi said NLD members Yan Shwe, Zaw Zaw Aung and Myint Aye, that last of whom is also a member of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network (HRDP) …

Ex-local to lead Buddhist classes
Vail Daily News, CO -
He has traveled on pilgrimage and for teachings to India, Tibet, Nepal, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. SDC also offers a weekend retreat, “Living Dharma in …

Karachi, a beggar’s paradise, continues to provide for many
Daily Times, Pakistan -
There are around 60 Burmese and Bengali colonies in the city, with a population of approximately 1.5 million. The colonies are spread from Machhar Colony to …

Sept 9, 1951 – Nehru becomes president of Congress party
Sify, India -
1988 – Burma’s former Prime Minister U Nu, toppled in a 1962 military coup, announces formation of a rival government. Burma is now known as Myanmar. …

South Africa’s Human Rights Reputation Tarnished
Human Rights Watch (press release) -
By Carroll Bogert, published in The Sunday Independent Supporters of human rights around the world watched in joy 14 years ago as apartheid ended and a new …

Likewise, Chinese and Thai tourists are going to the Shan state in Myanmar (Burma) to take advantage of child sex workers,” another study by the UN agency …

POLITICS: Is Cold War Rhetoric Back at the UN?
Inter Press Service, Italy -
Judging by the recent deadlock in the Security Council — over Kosovo, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Zimbabwe, Sudan and most recently Georgia — one wonders …

Myanmar’s colonial-era Strand Hotel well preserved
San Jose Mercury News,  USA -
Before World War II, the Strand was reserved for “whites only,” but during the Japanese occupation of Burma—as Myanmar was formerly known—it became an army …

The probing of love in its non-romantic forms is back too — the love of truth, the fearless love of an Aung San Suu Kyi, the love of the divine. …

Burma’s opposition urges UN to take stronger action
Mizzima.com, India -
… spokesperson for the VPC-Myanmar. He added that they would like to see the reformation of Burma under the UN’s initiative and hope that a future UN …

Aung San Suu Kyi’s aide shifted to another hospital
Mizzima.com, India -
Ma Win Pa Pa and her mother Khin Khin Win have been closely serving detained Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and have been detained along …

Arms: Northern Ireland’s import-export business
Open Democracy, UK -

… very measures which would stop Northern Ireland-supplied weaponry ending up in the hands of human rights abusers in countries like Burma and Zimbabwe. …

Conflicting reports over Daw Suu hunger strike rumours
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway -
Sep 8, 2008 (DVB)–The National League for Democracy and the Burmese regime have offered conflicting responses to rumours that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is …

Burmese share aid problems
News Sentinel, IN -
Luse gave details on recent legislation that bans import of jade, rubies and other gems from Burma, now called Myanmar, in hopes it pressure the reigning …

Day 15 – Political Turmoil in Thailand: What’s Next on Samak’s Judgement Day?

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Thailand’s protesters soaked but undeterred
Reuters -
By Raju Gopalakrishnan BANGKOK (Reuters) – Soaked by a thunderstorm, thousands of Thai protesters danced in joy when a court ordered Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to quit on Tuesday, but vowed to continue a siege of his compound since he plans to
Thai ruling party to renominate Samak as PM Wednesday Xinhua
Thai PM down but far from out after court verdict Washington Post

International Herald TribuneThe Associated PressTimes OnlineVoice of America
all 1,132 news articles »

Thai Prime Mini…
Times Online

Thai PM down b…
Malaysia Star

Thai protesters v…
Emirates Busine…

Thai Constitutio…
Thai News Agen…

Thai leader forc…
Lompoc Record

Thai PM down but far from out after court verdict
Washington Post -
By Nopporn Wong-Anan BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court ordered Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to stand down on Tuesday, accusing him of breaking the law by hosting cooking shows on commercial television while in office.

Court orders Thai prime minister to resign International Herald Tribune

Thai Premier Forced Out Over Television Cooking Show (Update2) Bloomberg

Court orders Samak to go, party will renominate him Radio France Internationale, France -

Court orders Thai PM to resign over TV Sydney Morning Herald, Australia -

Thailand PM forced out for hosting his own cookery show Daily Mail, UK -

Thai PM Ousted over Cookery Shows TIME -

Thai Constitution Court stripes PM, entire cabinet from office Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand -

Thai PM found guilty of violating constitution Thaindian.com, Thailand -

PPP will re-elect Samak AsiaOne, Singapore -

Ousted Thai PM’s party vows to bring him back PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria -

Thai protesters vow to continue rally Special Broadcasting Service, Australia -

Two challengers Frontline, India -

all 922 news articles »

Photo – AP

China, Malaysia, Philippines, S. Korea: Asia Local Bond Preview Bloomberg -

Political Turmoil in Thailand: What’s Next? Global Politician, NY -

Young people speaking their minds on politics Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand -

Samak to ask Burma to let UN play a role in elections Bangkok Post, Thailand -

PM’s trip to UN in doubt Bangkok Post, Thailand -

Elements conspire against Samak Bangkok Post, Thailand -

PPP lawmakers promise loyalty to leader Samak Bangkok Post, Thailand -

Joint effort to end stand-off gets nowhere Bangkok Post, Thailand -

Thai PM in court over hosting TV cookery show Irish Times, Ireland -

If the protesters don’t get Samak Sundaravej, the TV curry might Times Online, UK -

Lessons from the Thai camp-in Malaysia Star, Malaysia -

Thai PM’s food show may cost him his job guardian.co.uk, UK -

Heat rising as Thailand’s PM hangs on Independent, UK -

Mediation Efforts in Thailand Hope to Break Political Impasse Voice of America -

Thai Protesters Seek Democracy `Blend’ With Unelected Lawmakers Bloomberg -

‘Bangkok’ got a little dangerous Los Angeles Times, CA -

Samak’s Judgement Day Nation Multimedia, Thailand -

Thai Tourist Authority Says It’s ‘Business As Usual’ for Meetings … Successful Meetings, NY -

Young people s…
Thai News Agen…

Defiant Samak a…
The Standard

Mediation Effort…
Voice of America

Cooking show la…
The Associated Press

Thai PM in the s…
Aljazeera.net

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 9, 2008 at 1:55 am

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