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Archive for November 7th, 2008

More Burmese defense lawyers accused of ‘Contempt of Court’ and Jailed 4 months by the junta

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More Burmese Defense Lawyers Jailed for ‘Contempt of Court’
Friday, November 7, 2008

Two lawyers representing detained Burmese political activists were sentenced to four months imprisonment for contempt of court on Friday.

One of the two, Aung Thein, told The Irrawaddy he and Khin Maung Shein had been charged after attempting to defend their clients in court.

The two lawyers had earlier withdrawn from court proceedings, complaining that they were being hampered in their defense work.

Aung Thein said the authorities were prejudiced against lawyers defending political activists. Aung Thein represented the prominent Buddhist monk Ashin Gambira, but resigned his brief on October 1, complaining that he was not being allowed to prepare a proper defense.

Gambira was one of the leaders of the demonstrations in September 2007 and is charged with offences connected with his participation in the mass protests.

Aung Thein said justice would win in the end—and quoted Buddhist teaching.
Ah-dhhamma (injustice) is winning now, but one day dhamma (justice) will win.”

His colleague, Khin Maung Shein, also recently resigned his brief after the court refused to allow him to ask questions on behalf of his clients.

In late October, another defense lawyer, Nyi Nyi Htwe, who represented 11 youth members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), was sentenced to six months imprisonment for disrespect of the court.

Nyi Nyi Htwe and Nyi Nyi Hlaing are among 13 lawyers defending detained political activists, according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

Nine leading activists, including Min Ko Naing and other prominent members of the 88 Generation Students movement, were sentenced in late October to six months imprisonment for contempt of court.

The Burma Lawyers’ Council in exile released a statement on Friday lamenting the lack of free and fair trials in Burma and complaining that lawyers representing political clients lose their right to freely defend their clients in court.

A court in Insein Prison increased the list of charges against the prominent Burmese labor activist Su Su Nway on Friday, according to her sister, Htay Htay Kyi.

Su Su Nway, winner of the 2006 John Humphrey Freedom Award for her labor rights work, took part in last year’s demonstrations and was charged with “threatening the stability of the government,” under articles 124, 130 and 505 of the penal code.  Six new charges had now been added, Htay Htay Kyi said.

In other developments, appeals by six NLD members, including well-known pro-democracy activist Win Mya Mya, against long prison sentences, have been rejected.

Burmese authorities are also apparently ignoring an appeal by NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her continuing house arrest. The appeal was lodged in Naypyidaw on October 8, according to her lawyer, Kyi Win, who is still being kept waiting for a response.

Suu Kyi was visited by her doctor at her Rangoon home on Thursday, in accordance with an agreement with the authorities.

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group |

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm

World focus on Burma (7 November 2008)

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Burmese dissident deserves release
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
By Zin Linn Bangkok, Thailand — Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a prisoner of conscience for a few days in the Burmese military junta’s …

Face off between Bangla-Myanmar warships over gas
Merinews, India –
On Friday morning, however, Burma hardened its stand and said in its state run newspaper the New Light of Myanmar that the Bangladeshi demand that the …

Dhaka refuses to retreat, Myanmar withdraws 2 ships
Zee News, India –
Dhaka, Nov 07: Bangladesh on Friday said it would withdraw its warships deployed in the Bay of Bengal only after Myanmar assures that it would halt gas …

Can Obama make a difference?
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
But more important, and it must be given higher priority by Washington, is the issue of human rights and democracy in the Land of Smiles. …

Worse Than Bush?
The National Interest Online, DC –
America’s strategic over-extension and muddled priorities reached new levels under George W. Bush, with the utopian goal of implanting democracy in the …

Burma positions four warships on western coast, India –
by Mizzima News New Delhi – Following a standoff between Burma and Bangladesh over disputed waters, the Burmese military junta to order four of its warships …

Myanmar and Bangladesh meet over sea dispute
International Herald Tribune, France –
AP YANGON, Myanmar: Chances of a maritime confrontation between Myanmar and Bangladeshi appeared to have eased, with officials from the two countries …

Two More Join Burma’s List of Detained Journalists
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
In February, Thant Zin, editor of the Myanmar Nation, and the weekly publication’s manager, Sein Win Maung, were arrested at their office in Thingangyun …

More Burmese Defense Lawyers Jailed for ‘Contempt of Court’
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Burmese authorities are also apparently ignoring an appeal by NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her continuing house arrest. …

Israel On The Defensive In UN’s Fourth Committee
Evening Bulletin, PA –
Critics point to the crises in Burma, Colombia and Somalia, in addition to its not renewing the mandates of human rights experts in Belarus and Cuba, …

Thirteen Tea Farm Workers Killed in Landslide
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Most tea farmed in the area is sold to Rangoon, Mandalay and other parts of Burma. According to Myanmar Tea, some 87707 metric tons of tea leaves were …

Foreign Firms Probe Disputed Burma, Bangladesh Waters
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

However, industry analysts in Bangkok say Burma’s government-controlled Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)—which overseas all Burmese exploration—does …

No Decision Yet on Gambari Visit: UN
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
UN Secretary-General spokesperson Michèle Montas told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that an invitation from the Burmese junta was received a …

Weekly Business Roundup (November 7, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Human rights campaigners say this is a growing tactic of foreign firms doing business with a Burma military junta that is increasingly sanctioned by some …

Bangladesh demands Burma assurance to end naval standoff
The Standard, Hong Kong –
Bangladesh said on Friday it would remove warships deployed in the Bay of Bengal only when neighbouring Burma gives assurances it will halt gas exploration …

ACMECS summit begins in Vietnam
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
The summit is being attended by the five greater Mekong sub-region member countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. …

Mekong PMs discuss development amid global financial turmoil

… and conflict raged on in Cambodia until the 1990s. Myanmar, also known as Burma, remains diplomatically isolated and poverty-stricken.

Mekong nations leaders meet to seal ties
Radio Australia, Australia –

The prime ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma are to be joined by Thailand’s new prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, on Friday for a wider summit. …

Burma cyclone survivors still stuck in makeshift homes
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa –
Now, six months after the storm hit Burma, killing nearly 140 000 people, he is still there — and still stuck in the same sweat-box hut cobbled together …

Myanmar: Myanmar And Bangladesh Meet Over Sea Dispute
Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –
YANGON, MYANMAR: Senior officials from Bangladesh and Myanmar met to discuss a territorial dispute after Yangon rejected its neighbor’s demand to stop oil …

Burma refuses to retract from gas exploration in Bay of Bengal, India –
“So Myanmar [Burma] rejected the mistakenly-made demand of Bangladesh,” Burma’s military junta said in the statement published by its mouthpiece New Light …

Burmese Defense Lawyers Harassed (press release), New Zealand –
Lawyers defending Burma’s detained political activists face continued intimidation from the country’s unelected military junta. …

The politics of panties
The, Canada –

… to Rangoon… and you get shot,” explains Mika Lévesque, holding a pair of panties with a flower-shaped sticker of the Burmese junta pasted on the bum. …

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Obama Victory Spells Renewed US Interest
Inter Press Service, Italy –
ASEAN includes Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei. ‘’Obama will create a new impetus for …

Myanmar rejects Bangladesh’s call to stop oil exploration
Monsters and –
Yangon – Myanmar has rejected a demand by Bangladesh to stop offshore oil exploration in a disputed area in the Bay of Bengal, state media reports said …

China Urges Fair Settlement of Myanmar-Bangladesh Gas Dispute
Bloomberg –
Bangladesh says the area falls within its territorial waters and summoned Myanmar’s ambassador before sending envoys to the nation formerly known as Burma. ..

Mekong nations convene economic summit
Radio Australia, Australia –
The prime ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma are to be joined by Thailand’s new Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on Friday for a wider summit. …

Wartime Courage, By Gordon Brown
Independent, UK –
It arrives less than 18 months after his “eight portraits” of courage in civil and political life, from Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi to Edith Cavell …

Burmese days
The National, United Arab Emirates –
Now he has turned his Asia journeys into a trilogy with Burma Chronicles. Burma, which prefers to call itself Myanmar, is another seldom-visited country, …

Bangladesh wants peaceful resolution of dispute with Myanmar over ..., UK –
7 — Bangladesh wants a peaceful resolution of the current dispute with Myanmar over its maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal, but reiterats its firm …

Myanmar rejects Bangladesh call for oil probe halt
Forbes, NY –
AP 11.06.08, 3:22 PM ET Myanmar’s government on Thursday rejected a demand by neighboring Bangladesh to immediately halt oil and gas exploration off …

People of Burma call for democracy and religious freedom, Italy –
The end of the dictatorship in Myanmar and the thirst for God among the population: these are the two faces of a country that the military junta constantly …

Myanmar refuses to back down in row with Bangladesh
But Myanmar’s ruling junta said its support of the Korean company Daewoo was in accordance with a contract agreed in 2005 for “Myanmar’s special economic …

Partners in Oppression
Human Rights Watch (press release) –
Both countries rank among the worst human rights abusers, persecute those who attempt to flee, and severely curtail the ability of the outside world to help .

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 7, 2008 at 2:53 am