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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for November 5th, 2008

World focus on Burma (6 November 2008)

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Mandalay NLD members’ appeal summarily rejected by court
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Nov 06, 2008 (DVB)-Appeal for recently sentenced Mandalay division National League for Democracy leaders and members has been rejected by the divisional …

‘Denial. History betrayed’ by Tony Taylor
MWC News, Canada –
It is public exposure of Genocide and Human Rights Abuses that will help to protect Humanity in a Rational Risk Management sense. …

Daewoo withdrawing from Bay: adviser
Bangladesh News 24 hours (subscription), Bangladesh –
Dhaka, Nov 6 ( – Daewoo, the Korean construction giant that got the contract from Myanmar to explore oil and gas in the disputed waters in the …

Myanmar, also known as Burma, remains diplomatically isolated and poverty-stricken. Full-scale wars ended years ago in the region, but a lingering dispute …

At least the PM admits we have a problem
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand –
We wouldn’t dare ask the Burmese junta to take action, as it would disturb the bilateral ties between the two nations – which never trusted one another in …

Barriers to collective action in Burma
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Nov 06, 2008 (DVB)-Observers of Burma are often surprised at how much the people can endure without rising up. While junta members and cronies become …

Burmese censor board tightens grip with news directives, India –
by Nem Davies New Delhi – In a renewed effort to streamline the flow of information, Burma’s censorship board under the ministry of Information in September …

Internally displaced persons increase along Thai-Burma border, India –
“We don’t know the reason why they [Burmese soldiers] are attacking civilians but it may be possible that the junta has accused the villagers of having a …

Burma resumes exporting rice, India –
The junta had banned the export of rice after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, but six months on have now again permitted rice exports. …

Dhaka seeks China, Korea’s help over Bay dispute
Bangladesh News 24 hours (subscription), Bangladesh –
Dhaka, Nov 6 ( – Bangladesh has turned to China and South Korea as Myanmar authorities have been exploring oil and gas in the disputed waters …

Joe Laliberte: For those who cannot
GW Hatchet (subscription), DC –
… of voter turnout behind countries such as Burma, Iran and Zimbabwe, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. …

China expects Bangladesh, Myanmar to properly settle sea dispute
Xinhua, China –
6 (Xinhua) — China on Thursday suggested Bangladesh and Myanmar settle their dispute in the Bay of Bengal through equal and friendly negotiations. …

Doctor visits Suu Kyi
The Standard, Hong Kong –
A doctor visited Burma’s detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday, witnesses said, two months after her refusal of food supplies sparked …

Is Burma Ready for Change?
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Even the regime—after first retaking control of the streets—conceded the need for elections. It was only when they lost by a landslide to Suu Kyi’s party in …

Why India shifts its policy on Burma
KanglaOnline, India –
This was the time when Burmese people contemplated bringing down the military regime. The failed uprising forced hundreds of refugees across the …

Life on the edge in eastern Burma
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
… more than it did six months ago, and even desperately poor people there have been ordered to donate money, ostensibly for victims of Cyclone Nargis. …

Burma Debate Continues Outside Brussels Conference Hall
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The organizers were accused by NGOs, trade union umbrella groups and others of inviting only Burmese regime sympathizers and excluding regime opponents. …

Win Tin Congratulates Obama, Calls for Regime Change in Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“The people of Burma want change. They voted in the NLD in the 1990 election.” The opposition NLD party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory in …

Thai PM Arrives in Vietnam
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Somchai also told the Europeans recently that the terrible human and economic toll of Cyclone Nargis in May had also brought some positive effects, …

Asian youth leaders call for resumption of peace talks
Davao Today, Philippines –
“Unless there is respect for human rights, there can be no peace,” he said. Among the guests of the summit were top ranking officials of the Moro Islamic …

Austrian police seize $A6.9m stolen ruby
Ninemsn, Australia –
Austria’s federal criminal investigations bureau say they have arrested three people suspected of stealing the ruby, known as the “Prince of Burma”, …

Burma’s pro-democracy movement in crisis, India –
Opposition groups label the Burmese junta as being “an old wine in a new bottle” whenever they come up with new plans in their efforts to cling to power. …

Burmese Officials Are ‘Stubborn,’ Says US Admiral
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

French and UK ships were also not allowed into Burmese waters. “At the end of the day, we were disappointed with the junta’s refusal to let us contribute in …

Measles Outbreaks Highlight Regime’s Irresponsibility
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Burma’s once vaunted healthcare system is yet another casualty of decades of military rule. The current junta, the State Peace and Development Council …

Obama’s Jakarta ties raise expectations in South-East Asia
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
But even in Burma there is room for nuance. “There may be a change in tone,” said Win Min, a Burmese affairs expert who teaches at Thailand’s Chiang Mai …

Burma withdraws warships from Bay of Bengal, India –
“Myanmar [Burma] has withdrawn two warships,” a senior Bangladesh Navy officer was quoted as saying by the AFP. The official said, “There is now very little …

Burma: Four killed and hundreds forced to flee Karen State
Inspire Magazine, UK –
“We call on the UN Security Council to impose a universal arms embargo on the regime in Burma and to refer a case against Burma’s Army Generals to the …

UPDATE 1-Myanmar stops disputed gas exploration -Bangladesh
Reuters India, India –
DHAKA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Myanmar stopped oil and gas exploration in deep-sea blocks in disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday, …

Burma and the farce of women’s rights, India –
When committee members asked what this phrase means, Colonel Sit Aye, head of the Myanmar Human Rights Group, responded that the government could use it to …

Myanmar pulls warships from disputed waters: Bangladesh
CHITTAGONG (AFP) — Myanmar withdrew two warships from the Bay of Bengal Thursday after a four-day standoff with neighbouring Bangladesh over mineral-rich …

Myanmar lifts rice export ban
Straits Times, Singapore –

YANGON – AUTHORITIES in Myanmar have lifted a ban on rice exports imposed after Cyclone Nargis devastated swathes of crucial agricultural land in the …

Saluting McConnell
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY –

It’s what he has done in some other notable instances, to help pass a tobacco buyout, support Burma’s pro-democracy movement and enact a Medicare …

PMs from SE Asia’s Mekong countries to meet in Vietnam
Military-ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, remains diplomatically isolated and poor. Thailand said Frida

Voice of the Martyrs Alert, VA –
Mizzima online reports that more than a million people are still struggling to recover from Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma (also known as Myanmar) six …

Heroes Of The Saffron Revolution
R-N University Observer, NJ –
100000 people protested the Burmese military junta in Rangoon, Myanmar, in August and September of 2007. Thirty thousand of those were Buddist Monks. …

Dhaka ready for any eventuality in Bay: Iftekhar
Bangladesh News 24 hours (subscription), Bangladesh –
Dhaka, Nov 6 (—The foreign adviser has said Myanmar is pulling out of disputed Bay waters, but Bangladesh remains “ready for any eventuality”. …

Myanmar pulls warships from disputed waters: Bangladesh
CHITTAGONG (AFP) — Myanmar withdrew two warships from the Bay of Bengal Thursday after a four-day standoff with neighbouring Bangladesh over mineral-rich …

Yangon suspends Bay of Bengal exploration, Thailand –
Dhaka, Nov 6 (IANS) Myanmar has suspended its explorations in the Bay of Bengal after Bangladesh sent a diplomatic mission to Yangon and also got China to …

Politics of Place: Dr. Samantha Nutt
Pulse Niagara, Canada –
Global Television, the National Post, Flare, Chatelaine and the CBC, among many other media outlets, have recognized Dr. Nutt’s devotion to human rights and …

Farmers in cyclone-hit delta face bleak future
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
Six months after Cyclone Nargis slammed in the delta, killing more than 130000 people and leaving 2.4 million destitute, farmers in Asia’s one-time ‘rice …

DHAKA (AFP) — A simmering dispute between Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar in a hydrocarbon-rich stretch of the Bay of Bengal has highlighted Dhaka’s …

5 Asian leaders meet to boost trade, Philippines –
Military-ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, remains diplomatically isolated and poor. Thailand said Friday’s meeting aimed to enhance ties in seven areas …

Myanmar ‘suspends gas exploration’ after BD action
Pakistan Dawn, Pakistan –
By Our Correspondent DHAKA, Nov 5: Myanmar on Wednesday suspended gas exploration in the disputed waters of the Bay of Bengal after Bangladesh’s diplomatic …

Dodging change, Philippines –
And scrub paranoid Burma. The rest of the world got from this poll a cyberspace tutorial on ballot power. “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy …

COMMENTARY: Wondering on the sidelines of the historical Obama win …
Minda News, Philippines –
I wonder if he will be able to get the Burmese junta to release Aung San Syu Kyi and help nudge that country into the path of democracy. …

Bangladesh turns to China in Burma dispute
Radio Australia, Australia –Bangladesh has asked China to help it resolve a territorial dispute with Burma over a potentially-resource rich area of the Bay of Bengal. …

Mavericks on a mission
The Asian Pacific Post, Canada –
The Fund has spent the last 10 years improving the lives of indigent children and families in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma-Myanmar, throwing its …

Burmese fishermen detained prior to deportation
Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka –
By T. Farook Thajudeen The Harbour police yesterday produced seven fishermen from Burma who were rescued by a German vessel from a distress situation in mid …

Students to Play Dodgeball for Charity
Gustavus Adolphus College News, MN –
… and advocacy campaigns, USCB works to empower Americans and Burmese dissidents-in-exile to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma. …

High powered delegation off to Yangon: Chinese mediation being …
The New Nation, Bangladesh –
“I will meet my Myanmar counterpart and other senior officials to convey Dhaka’s concern and demand immediate withdrawal of the vessels and infrastructures …

Chinese Envoy calls on Iftekhar
The New Nation, Bangladesh –
In response to a question, he added that they had also spoken about the current situation between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the Bay of Bengal. …

Myanmar suspends exploration in Bay
The Daily Star, Bangladesh –
Myanmar ships yesterday suspended oil and gas exploration activities inside Bangladesh maritime territory awaiting the outcome of a dialogue between Dhaka’s …

B’deshi delegation to talk with Burmese officials, India –
“I have explained our peaceful intentions to our Chinese counterpart and expressed the hope that Myanmar will dismantle the installations on the disputed …

7thSpace Interactive (press release), NY –
Special sessions held in the last year focused on the right to food, the situation in Burma, “which remains a very serious concern”, and human rights …

Detained NLD members stage protest at Rangoon court
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
05 Nov, 2008 (DVB)-Eleven detained National League for Democracy members from Rangoon Hlaing Thayar township gave their back to the court yesterday to …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm

18 Years in Prison and Counting

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The Irrawaddy


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Few people know him—the 57-year-old physician who has spent the past 18 years in the Burmese regime’s prison cells, sleeping on a rough mat and eating scraps of food alone in a dark cell with bad air and no sunlight.

He has no idea if he will ever live with his wife, two sons and daughter again.

Zaw Myint Maung has spent the past 18 years in the junta’s jails.

His name is Zaw Myint Maung, and he was detained after winning a seat in the 1990 elections in Amarapura Township in Mandalay, an election that was nullified by the military regime. He was accused of high treason for his efforts to work with pro-democracy colleagues who were trying to find a way to bridge differences between the movement and the junta. He received a 25-year prison sentence.In 1994, I was his cellmate in cell No. 10 in cellblock 3 in the infamous Insein Prison in Rangoon.

Zaw Myint Maung is a handsome man, short in stature with tan skin. He is always very kind and helpful, not only to fellow prisoners but also to wardens and prison officers, who often consult with him on health matters. Because of his calm and warm manner, and his stature as an experienced medical doctor, the prison staff paid him respect when military intelligence officers were not around.

He managed to form a medical assistance committee in his cell compound and sometimes succeeded in smuggling medicine and disposable syringes into the prison. He treated inmates for various illnesses, and even performed minor surgery with the help of sympathetic prison officials.

In Insein Prison, the military intelligence officials interrogated him and tried to persuade him to collaborate with them in exchange for his release. He never wavered in his loyalty to the democracy movement.

I remember him saying words to the effect: “Democracy is on the march around the world, including Burma. But we need commitment to work selflessly with grassroots people until the day that a free Burma emerges. The struggle for freedom may need more time. But it is not impossible.”

He has a vision, and he has courage. In 1995, after he and fellow prisoners had collected information about human rights abuses in Burma’s prisons, he personally handed over the report to the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma while he was visiting the prison.

The statement titled “Human Rights Abuses in the Junta’s Prisons,” together with a petition from more than 100 political prisoners, was successfully distributed to the international community.

The release of both the report and petition damaged the junta’s image and drew the generals’ wrath. Zaw Myint Maung and some other colleagues were placed in a “dog cell” for about six months in retribution.

In March 1996, Zaw Myint Maung was sentenced to an additional 12 years in prison for his role in distributing the human rights report. One year later, he was transferred to Myitkyina Prison in northern Kachin State.

Deplorable prison conditions are commonplace in Burmese prisons and detention centers. Many prisoners suffer from serious mental disorders resulting from long periods of solitary confinement.

Currently, there are more than 2,100 political prisoners in Burmese prisons, including 18 elected members of parliament. There are more than 178 female political prisoners and more than 200 Buddhist monks.

Zaw Myint Maung 57th birthday will be in December. He will silently celebrate his birthday alone in his cell, just like in the previous 17 years.

Zin Linn is a former political prisoner and spokesman for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma in exile.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

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Children Not in School Six Months after Cyclone

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The Irrawaddy


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An estimated 300,000 children are still unable to attend school six months after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, according to a leading relief agency, Save the Children in Burma.

Andrew Kirkwood, the country director of the relief agency, said that following the cyclone: “There’s a huge demand for this, from communities and children. There were about 400,000 children who were not able to go to school. Now, we’ve managed to get 100,000 of those kids back into school through, for example, the rebuilding of temporary schools, using relatively inexpensive materials.”

A Buddhist monk walks over the remains of his cyclone-destroyed monastery in Kaunt Chaung. (Photo: AFP)

Save the Children has rebuilt more than 350 temporary schools, according to a report it on October 31, highlighting the critical role of education in helping children recover.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of getting children back to school,” said Kirkwood.

“The best way to deal with emotional distress is to normalize the lives of children, get them back into a routine and enable them to pick up what they were doing before the cyclone.”

The father of a student in Bogalay Township said many children are not able to attend school because their family focuses on their daily survival, and they believe the children can live without an education for now.

A housewife in Bogalay said, “You can see many children along the roadside, some begging, some stealing things, some surrounding rubbish baskets and collecting plastic to sell it to earn money.  Some parents of children don’t want their children to go to school, and they tell their children to beg.”

The relief agency estimated that around 40 percent of the 140,000 people who were killed or disappeared in the wake of the cyclone disaster were children. Many who
survived were orphaned or separated from their parents.

According to a UNICEF report, it identified 220 orphans, 914 children separated from their parents, 302 “unaccompanied” children and 454 judged to be “extremely vulnerable.”

More than half of all schools in the Irrawaddy delta were destroyed, according to Save the Children.

Recently, Kyaw Thu, Burma’s deputy foreign minister and chairman of the Tripartite Core Group (TCG), the humanitarian assistance task force comprising Asean, the UN and the Burmese government, said in a press release: “Children are back in school, people are working again, the rice crop is due for harvesting shortly and transport and health facilities are again accessible.”

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

Obama Wins Election


Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States, the first African-American to hold that office.

Obama Wins Election
New York Times –
Supporters of Senator Barack Obama cheered during a rally in Chicago on Tuesday as they heard that he won in Pennsylvania. More Photos > By ADAM NAGOURNEY Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, …
Obama becomes first black president in landslide The Associated Press
How Obama Won Washington Post
Boston GlobeReutersInternational Herald TribuneSan Francisco Chronicle
and more »

Radio Australia

Obama elected next president of United States –
Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, the first African-American elected to the country’s highest office.
John McCain Concedes Loss in US Presidential Election Voice of America
President Obama Washington Post
MarketWatchHudson Valley PressMilwaukee Journal SentinelNew York Times
all 1,133 news articles »

The Associated Press

Impact of Democrats’ gains in Congress
Reuters –
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A more robust Democratic majority will control the US Congress in January, boosting the party’s chances for passing bills to stimulate the economy, repealing some of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and setting …
Democrats make strong gains in Senate races Los Angeles Times
Democrats pick up 4 Senate seats in early counts eTaiwan News
Washington PostBloombergThe Associated Press
all 1,310 news articles »

Obama wins historic US presidential election AlJazeeraEnglish

In his acceptance speech, US president-elect Barack Obama told supporters that his election was a “defining moment, change has come to America”.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is the place where all things are possible… tonight is your answer,” he said.

He also praised his political opponent, Republican candidate John McCain, as a man who had “fought long and hard” both during the election campaign and for his country.

Obama’s win eclipses national news in Britain
By Jennifer Carlile, reporter LONDON, ENGLAND – Britons awoke Wednesday to headlines like the Daily Express’ “A New World Dawns,” and The Independent’s “Mr.

Barack Obama elected next president of United States

International Herald TribuneLos Angeles TimesWQADNew York Times
all 1,658 news articles »

Vancouver Sun

Democrats still in the quest for 60 Senate seats
CNN International –
(CNN) — Democrats have gained a decisive majority in the US Senate, according to CNN projections, and are still aiming to acquire a filibuster-proof 60 seats.
Democrat Gains in Congress Clear Way for Party Agenda (Update1) Bloomberg
Dems appear to pad House majority CNN Political Ticker
Boston GlobeAFPReutersThe Associated Press
all 3,543 news articles »

Obama (D) – 349 votes
McCain (R) – 147 votes
Barack Obama is the projected winner

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 5, 2008 at 5:24 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , ,