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Archive for November 12th, 2008

Crackdown in Myanmar intensifies

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Prominent labor activits Su Su Nway, Su Su Nway, centre, has been arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Prominent labor activist Su Su Nway (center) has been arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison, her lawyer said Wednesday.  (AFP/Getty images)

AFP

Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

YANGON – Myanmar’s ruling junta is stepping up efforts to curb dissent ahead of 2010 elections, rights groups said Wednesday after a labour activist became the latest dissident to receive a lengthy jail sentence.

A crackdown on people involved in protests in mid-2007 that were brutally crushed by the military has seen at least 31 activists imprisoned this week, ranging from pro-democracy veterans to a popular blogger.

The latest case saw prominent labour advocate Su Su Nway sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in jail on Tuesday for putting up anti-government posters in the wake of the demonstrations, her lawyer Khin Htay Kywe told AFP.

Her colleague Bo Bo Win Naing, who was arrested with her in November last year, received an eight-year sentence, said the lawyer, who is also a member of detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.

Another 23 activists were each sentenced to 65 years in prison on Tuesday, while a leading blogger and a poet who wrote a coded criticism of junta leader Than Shwe were among six people sentenced on Monday.

Fourteen of those jailed on Tuesday are former students who were members of the “88 Generation,” which led a major uprising 20 years ago that the military regime also brutally suppressed, a western diplomat based in Yangon told AFP.

“We understand and are proud for them although we cannot do anything right now. We are not frightened,” said Amar Nyunt, 63, whose son Jimmy and daughter-in-law Nilar Thein were among those to receive 65-year jail terms.

She said she was caring for the jailed couple’s 19-month-old daughter, adding: “She is in good health. We will take good care of her while her parents are in prison.”

Sein Linn, 67, the father of Pannate Tun, another of the activists sentenced on Tuesday, said he fell sick after hearing of the punishment.

“I got high blood pressure when I heard the news yesterday,” he said. “I do not understand politics but I cannot afford to do anything apart from feeling for him.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch called the trials “unfair” and called on the Myanmar regime to free 70 activists on trial, mostly in relation to the protests in August and September 2007.

“These last few weeks show a more concentrated crackdown on dissent clearly aimed at intimidating the population,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The military regime has promised to hold elections in 2010, and Pearson said the convictions were likely an attempt to stifle any dissent ahead of the polls, which critics say aim only to entrench the army’s power.

“Burmas leaders are clearing the decks of political activists before they announce the next round of sham political reforms,” Pearson said, referring to Myanmar by its former name, which was changed by the generals in 1989.

The Yangon-based diplomat agreed, saying on condition of anonymity that the junta “wants to give a deterrent effect by sending a signal to opponents ahead of the elections announced for 2010.”

The sentences were, however also a strong response by Myanmar to international calls for the freeing of political prisoners, the diplomat added.

Britain slammed the latest sentences, saying that until Aung San Suu Kyi was freed and restrictions on political parties were lifted “there can be nothing approaching free elections”.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon called in a statement for Myanmar authorities “to release all political prisoners immediately.”

Hundreds more activists remain in jail following the protests, which began as small rallies in August 2007 against the rising cost of living but escalated into huge protests led by Buddhist monks that posed the biggest challenge to junta rule in nearly two decades.

At least 31 people were killed in the crackdown, according to the United Nations.

http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=cfd6796b-d82c-4384-8a93-f528cb26eb7b

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 12, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with

World focus on Burma (12 November 2008)

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Canada and the US condemn harsh sentencing of Myanmar dissidents
The Canadian Press, UNDATED –
“We call on Burmese authorities to release all political prisoners immediately.” Myanmar was formerly known as Burma. “Freedom, democracy, human rights and …

US “strongly condemns” lengthy Myanmar sentences
Reuters –
… activists to between two and 65 years in prison,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said, referring to Myanmar by its colonial name of Burma. …

Activists say Burma junta behaving lawlessly
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Nov 12, 2008 (DVB)-Recent sentencing of activists to 65 years in prison highlights lawlessness and dearth of justice in Burma, insisted their relatives and …

Burmese junta sends bloggers to jail
IT Examiner, India –
By John Daly @ Wednesday, November 12, 2008 1:01 PM Burmese blogger and owner of two internet cafés Nay Phone Latt has been sentenced to 20 years and six …

This isn’t the place it used to be
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand –
Now all we have to do is hear more of why a Thai prime minister wanted to give Burma’s notorious military junta subsidised loans – which, yes, somebody has …

Canada demands release of Myanmar activists “immediately”
AFP –

“We call upon the Burmese regime to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Burma. “We continue to urge the regime to begin a …

Britain and Canada condemn junta for sentencing dissidents
Mizzima.com, India –
Rammell said the junta’s harsh punishment against dissidents reveals that the ongoing political crisis in Burma can only be resolved through “a genuine and …

Jail for poetic attack on junta
The Australian, Australia –
… on Burma’s dictator in the form of a love poem, were among dozens of activists sentenced to draconian jail terms as the junta ordered a fresh crackdown …

Five monks put away for six and-a-half years
Mizzima.com, India –
by Zar Ni Chiang Mai – There is no let up in the Burmese military junta handing out varying punitive sentences to anti-regime forces, with five monks …

Burma blogger gets 20 years; 14 get 65 years each
OpEdNews, PA –
“In the midst of its so-called ‘Roadmap to Democracy,’ the government of Myanmar reveals its true intentions by sentencing these dissidents for nothing more …

Germany condemns jailing of Myanmar activists
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
Berlin – Germany condemned Wednesday the sentencing of 14 activists in Myanmar to lengthy prison terms, calling the verdict “politically motivated. …

Canada condemns crackdown
Canada.com, Canada –
… about the imprisonment and called on the regime in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to begin a dialogue with the democratic opposition in the country. …

Burma-Bangladesh to continue high-level dialogue
Mizzima.com, India –
The BIMSTEC, a regional group made up of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal and Bhutan, is now considered a promising regional …

Burmese Activists Get Stiff Sentences
自由亚洲电视, Washington DC –
The rulings by Burma’s military courts suggest the junta isn’t interested in lifting restrictions on political opposition parties in the runup to 2010 …

Britain, Canada Leads Protests against Sentencing of Dissidents
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… to work with others for a better Burma.” Rammell called for the release of all political detainees, including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Cynthia Maung and Zoya Phan Win Ovations in Barcelona
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Zoya Phan strongly criticized the Burmese junta’s fear of Suu Kyi and their attempts to silence her. “The regime wanted the world to forget about Suu Kyi …

The Cost of Death in Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

But in 2005, when the junta claimed this area as the new capital, villagers were ordered not to bury the dead in a village graveyard. …

Burma Moves to Silence the Opposition
Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong –
As a result, the number of political prisoners languishing in Burma’s prisons has more than doubled in the last 12 months. “The junta is clearly conducting …

FAO calls for programmes to cushion crisis impact on food security
Monsters and Critics.com –
Mudbhary noted that ASEAN countries – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) – could …

Amnesty International 2008 gifts catalogue launched
Amnesty International UK, UK –
… sister Anna sent it to Amnesty to forward to imprisoned Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as part of Amnesty’s annual Greetings Card Campaign. …

Arroyo: RP to remain ‘steadfast’ US ally
Inquirer.net, Philippines –
… food security, poverty reduction, the future of ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], human rights in Burma and defense reform,” she said.

88 generation student activists given lengthy jail terms
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Free Burma!” In a separate hearing held in Insein prison special court, activist Su Su Nwe was today sentenced to 12 years and 6 months and Ko Bo Bo Win …

Myanmar pro-democracy activists draw harsh prison sentences
Los Angeles Times, CA –
First Lady Laura Bush has campaigned for democratic reform in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Her comments on the junta’s hard line have been broadcast to …

Burmese court sentences blogger to 20 years, poet gets two-year …
Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –
Nay Phone Latt, 28, is also a youth member of Burma’s main opposition party, National League for Democracy. He runs internet cafés in several townships in …

India must use BIMSTEC to push for change in Burma: Rights activist
Mizzima.com, India –
“India, Nepal and Sri Lanka should be pressing Myanmar [Burma] for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi at the meet,” said Suhas Chakma, director of ACHR. …

Group claims Myanmar out to curb dissent
Reuters UK, UK –
“Burma’s leaders are clearing the decks of political activists before they announce the next round of sham political reforms,” Elaine Pearson, …

Pro-democracy backers sentenced
Seattle Times, United States –
First lady Laura Bush has campaigned for democratic reform in Myanmar, also known as Burma. An Angolan government official says his country will send troops …

“Burma’s leaders are clearing the decks of political activists before they announce the next round of sham political reforms,” Pearson said, referring to …

Myanmar blogger jailed for 20 years
CIOL, India –
NEW DELHI, INDIA: A blogger in Myanmar was sentenced to 20 years and six months in jail by the military junta on Monday as part of a fresh crackdown on …

Calls for dissidents to be released in Burma
Radio Australia, Australia –
A leading human rights group has urged Burma’s junta to free 70 activists currently on trial, after the military regime handed down a string of hefty jail …

HRW asks Myanmar to free activists arrested last year
Hindu, India –
“It’s no secret that Burma’s military rulers show no respect for law, but these last few weeks show a more concentrated crackdown on dissent clearly aimed …

88 Generation Activists Given 65 Years
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –


The lengthy imprisonments were seen as an indication the Burmese military government was invoking harsher punishments on dissidents. The 14 activists— Min …

CHRONOLOGY – Milestones in North-South Korea conflict
Reuters India, India –
Oct. 9, 1983: More than 20 people, including four South Korean cabinet ministers, are killed in Burma (now Myanmar) when North Korean agents blow up a major …

British concern over sentences to democracy activists in Myanmar –
Associated Press of Pakistan, Pakistan –
LONDON, Nov 12 (APP)- The British Government has expressed its concern over the 65 year terms sentence passed by the Myanmar regime against 14 members of …

Myanmar labour activist jailed for 12 years, says lawyer
Channel News Asia, Singapore –
YANGON: A prominent Myanmar labour advocate has been sentenced to more than 12 years in jail, her lawyer said Wednesday, the latest in a spate of prison …

Prominent Myanmar dissident welcomes Obama approach
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
Yangon – US president-elect Barack Obama is expected to take a more multilateral and “effective” approach to Myanmar’s transition to democracy than the …

Myanmar Dissidents Get Up To 65 Years
Post Chronicle –
The military junta ruling the country once known as Burma has been handing out longer and longer prison terms, the magazine said. …

Jailed for love poem message
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –
Saw Wai’s poem spelled out: “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe”, a barb directed at Than Shwe, the head of Burma’s ruling military junta. …

Burmese Activists Sentenced To 65-Year Jail Term
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand –
Burma’s junta continued its brutal suppression of the country’s pro democracy movement yesterday, handing down prison sentences of 65 years each to 14 …

Burma: Free Activists Sentenced by Unfair Courts
Human Rights Watch (press release) –
(New York, November 11, 2008) – Burma’s military government should immediately exonerate and free about 70 activists who are being tried by unfair courts …

Burmese Dissidents Handed Down Sentences Of Up To 65 Years In Prison
RTT News, NY –
(RTTNews) – A closed court in Burma has sentenced 23 pro-democracy activists to jail sentences ranging from 12 1/2 years to 65 years for their role in …

Burmese junta jails fuel protesters
Financial Times, UK –
By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi A Burmese court has sentenced 14 prominent dissidents to 65 years imprisonment each for leading peaceful protests against a fuel …

Myanmar Sentences 14 Democracy Supporters
New York Times, United States –
… advocates were reported to be veterans of 1988 pro-democracy uprising that nearly succeeded in toppling the military leaders in Myanmar, formerly Burma. …

Political activists jailed for 65 years in Burma
Irish Times, Ireland –
“This is yet another unacceptable, callous, act by a brutal regime that daily violates the basic human rights of the Burmese people and which will tolerate …

Burma jails pro-democracy protesters for up to 65 years
Scotsman, United Kingdom –
She was arrested in November last year as she tried to paste up a leaflet near a Rangoon hotel where a visiting UN human rights investigator had been …

Myanmar dissidents get up to 65 years
United Press International –
The military junta ruling the country once known as Burma has been handing out longer and longer prison terms, the magazine said. …

Myanmar court sentences 14 political activists to 65 years in prison
JURIST –
The 88 Generation Students have been prominent in pro-democracy campaigns since the 1988 Burmese student uprising [BBC backgrounder].

Blogger jailed 20 years
Straits Times, Singapore –

Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders and Myanmar group the Burma Media Association condemned the severity of the blogger’s punishment. …

Myanmar jails activists for 65 years
The National, United Arab Emirates –
More than 15 journalists are also still in detention awaiting trial, according to the Burma Media Association. Most of them are accused of publishing …

Tension remains on Myanmar-Bangladesh Border
The Daily Star, Bangladesh –
Tension on Bangladesh-Myanmar border continued yesterday with no sign of pull back of forces of the two countries deployed along the frontier in the last …

CPJ Update
CPJ Press Freedom Online, NY –
Shi’s case became the catalyst for human rights groups, academics, socially responsible investors, and the communications and information industries to work …

Blogger sentenced to more than 20 years in prison
CPJ Press Freedom Online, NY –
“The 20-year prison sentence handed down to blogger Nay Phone Latt shows how desperate the ruling military junta is to control Burma ‘s voices on the …

Britain, Myanmar’s colonial power until 1948, intentionally refers to the country by its former name Burma, though it was changed by the junta to Myanmar in …

Burmese activists handed 65-year prison sentences
ABC Online, Australia –
After coming to Burma’s aid in the wake of Cyclone Nargis just over six months ago, the international community had hoped the junta would speed up …

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Courts in military-ruled Myanmar delivered a devastating blow Tuesday to the nation’s pro-democracy movement, sentencing two dozen …

Global: Ingrid Betancourt Does Not Forget Aung San Suu Kyi
NewsBlaze, CA –
“This march is to tell those who are still in captivity like Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi that they are not forgotten. It is also to inspire people around the …

Maritime issue with Myanmar
The Daily Star, Bangladesh –
WE are glad to note that a potential conflict situation with Myanmar has been averted. The situation had stemmed from Myanmar’s illegal conduct of …

Burma: 65-year prison sentences for protestors reveal government’s …
Amnesty International UK, UK –
… that Burma’s military government is ignoring calls by the international community to clean up its human rights record, Amnesty International said. …

Who Do You Think of on Remembrance Day?
CBC.ca, Canada –
My father soon left for 5 years in Burma, where he still was, as part of the “forgotten army,” long after VE Day. He died this year after 68 years of …

NLD welcomes EU stance on release of Suu Kyi
Mizzima.com, India –
by Solomon New Delhi – The European Union’s stance that the Burmese military junta’s proposed general elections in 2010 would lack credibility unless it …

65-Year Jail Terms Handed Down to Burmese Demonstrators
FOXNews –
The prisoners include Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the opposition National League of Democracy party, who is under house arrest. …

Condemnation over lenghthy jail term for Burmese activists
Radio Australia, Australia –
Human rights and opposition groups have condemned the jailing of 23 Burmese pro-democracy activists as a fresh attempt to stifle dissent. …

World’s Most Influential Women Honored by Glamour
Fashion Wire Daily (subscription), NY –
… children’s human rights advocates Nujood Ali and Shada Nasser of Yemen and the six female Nobel laureates who make up the Nobel Women’s Initiative. …

‘Catalonia’ prize for Aung San Suu Kyi and Dr. Cynthia Maung
Mizzima.com, India –
by Zarni Chiang Mai – Burmese pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Dr. Cynthia Maung of the Mae Taw clinic on the Thai-Burma border were awarded the …

Saw Wai gets two years for writing coded poem
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Nov 11, 2008 (DVB)-Poet Saw Wai who was arrested early this year for writing a poem containing anti-junta leader message has been sentenced to two years’ …

Pro-democracy activists sentenced in Burma
Independent, UK –
The sentences are just the latest in a series of moves taken by the regime to further crack down on dissent in Burma. On Monday, a court also operating in …

Long jail terms for Myanmar critics
MWC News, Canada –

… a spokesman for the party, whose leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate, has been under detention for more than 12 of the past 18 years. …

Lengthy prison terms for nine pro-democracy activists
Mizzima.com, India –
by Than Htike Oo Chiang Mai – Nine pro-democracy activists involved in the saffron revolution of September 2007, were sentenced to lengthy terms in prison …

Burma’s courts dish out severe sentences against activists
Mizzima.com, India –
Yet the junta, despite widespread criticism over its harsh treatment of dissidents, also on Monday sentenced a young Burmese blogger, Nay Phone Latt, …

Nine activists sentenced to lengthy prison terms
Mizzima.com, India –
by Mizzima News Chiang Mai – Nine activists who participated in the September 2007 uprising have been given jail sentences ranging from 8 to 24 years, …

Myanmar blogger sentenced to 20 years
United Press International –
YANGON, Myanmar, Nov. 11 (UPI) — A blogger was sentenced to 20 years in prison for mocking Myanmar dictator Gen. Than Shwe in an online poem, …

Myanmar is said to give long terms to activists
International Herald Tribune, France –
Relatives of the activists said they were convicted under a wide range of laws such as the Foreign Exchange Act, which bans Burmese from holding foreign …



Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 12, 2008 at 1:38 am