Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for November 25th, 2008

Petition to UN to help political prisoners in Burma

Source: Burma Digest

To:  United Nations

In November 2008 about seventy pro-democracy activists were given very long and harsh prison sentences of upto 65 years. Those convicted include members of the National League for Democracy, pro-democracy student activists, labour rights activists, social activists, and even some musicians, poets, bloggers, comedians and Buddhist monks. Those sentenced have committed no crime, apart from exercising their right to express themselves and have at all times underlined their willingness to work with others for a better Burma.They did not receive a fair trial, and many now face spending the rest of their lives in jail. Judges did not allow the defendants to question prosecution witnesses, many defendants did not have legal representation and those that did were not permitted to meet with their lawyers in private. According to United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, Tom?s Ojea Quintana, regarding these convictions, there is no independent and impartial judiciary system in Burma.

And even the defendants? lawyers were sentenced to between four and six months imprisonment for submitting a complaint about the unfair trial conditions.

Moreover, the recent constitutional referendum had produced very few rules to promote and protect free and equitable elections, and to provide for freedom of expression and assembly. No attempt had been made to prosecute those guilty of repressing the acts of peaceful protest from a year ago, and to halt the use of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. There had been other human rights violations, including the recruitment of child solders, the use of forced labour and instances of forced displacements.

These situations again demonstrate that the Junta ruling Burma tolerates no dissent and have no respect for human rights, and it underlines the need for a genuine and inclusive political process starting with the lifting of restrictions placed on political parties and the early release of those in detention.

Here, we, the National League for Democracy (exile-UK branch), urge the international community to deal with that worrying situation and to call on Burmese military regime to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by the population.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Burma’s HIV/AIDS Crisis in Red Alert: MSF

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Burma’s HIV/AIDS Crisis in Red Alert: MSF

By Wai Moe –

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

About 25,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2007 in Burma and 76,000 out of an estimated 240,000 people who are thought to be carrying HIV/AIDS urgently need antiretroviral treatment (ART), the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on Tuesday.

The Geneva-based humanitarian aid organization said in its latest report “A Preventable Fate: The Failure of ART Scale-up in Myanmar,” that the situation for many people living with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast Asian Nation is critical due to a severe lack of lifesaving ART.

“Last year, around 25,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses. A similar number of people could suffer the same fate in 2008 unless there is a significant increase in accessible antiretroviral treatment (ART),” MSF Operations Manager Joe Belliveau said in a press release.

The MSF said that during its five years of operation in the country, the Burmese regime and International Community’s response to the most serious HIV/AIDS epidemics in Asia has remained minimal.

The MSF added it can only provide medicine to 20 percent, or about 11,000 of the 76,000 people who need treatment immediately. The Burmese regime and other nongovernmental organizations supply 4,000 people with ART, it said.

However, the MSF said that it has recently been forced to make the painful decision to drastically reduce the number of new patients it can treat.

“It is unacceptable that a single NGO is treating the vast majority of HIV patients in a crisis of this magnitude,” Belliveau said.

According to the report, in the last two years, Burma’s Department of Health has treated only an estimated 1,800 patients with ART in 22 hospitals across the country.

The organization called upon the Burmese authorities and the International Community to mobilize quickly in order to address the situation. The Burmese military regime currently spends an estimated 0.3 percent of the gross domestic product on health, which the lowest amount in the world.

“In 2007, the Government of Myanmar spent just US $0.7 per person on healthcare, with a paltry $200,000 allocated for HIV/AIDS in 2008,” the MSF said.

The level of international humanitarian aid also is strikingly low, around $3 per person, one of the lowest rates worldwide, according to the report.

The cost of monthly first-line ART from a private pharmacy is US $29 in Burma where a majority of more than 50 million Burmese survive on $1.2 per day income.

The MSF said if people can find a way to afford ART, many become indebted and are soon force to stop taking the medicine.

It also said that governmental constraints and bureaucratic procedures may be challenges for aid organizations by noting that in some areas in the country, such as Kayah [Kareni] State, the MSF has not been permitted to start AIDS treatment.

The report quoted a 28-year-old male patient, “I think that I am going to die. I cannot do anything to get better. Even if there is a treatment, I am not able to afford it, as I do not have money. So I think that I will die from HIV.”

http://www.irrawaddy.org/highlight.php?art_id=14692

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Thai protest turns violent

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Thai protesters fire on govt supporters
Reuters –
By Nopporn Wong-Anan BANGKOK (Reuters) – Protesters blocked a highway to Thailand’s biggest airport on Tuesday and elsewhere opened fire on government supporters, the latest twists in their increasingly desperate bid to oust the elected administration.
Guns fired at rivals by Thai protesters in clash The Associated Press
Anti-Government Protesters Besiege Thailand Prime Minister’s Voice of America
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Guns fired at rivals by Thai protesters in clash The Associated Press –

Anti-Government Protesters Besiege Thailand Prime Minister’s Voice of America –

Thai protesters wounded in clashes Aljazeera.net, Qatar –

Thai Protesters Occupy Premier’s Temporary Office (Update4) Bloomberg –

Thai protesters ‘fire’ on rivals BBC News, UK –

Thai PM insists premiership despite protest Xinhua, China –

Thai protests turn violent, 10 hurt ABS CBN News, Philippines –

Shots fired as Thai factions clash at airport International Herald Tribune, France –

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

World focus on Burma (25 November 2008)

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Burmese aid for post flood health care in Orissa
Mizzima.com, India –
Speaking on the occasion Kyi Thein said that in May this year when Burma was ravaged by Cyclone Nargis, the worst calamity in the country’s history, …

Prepaid card system for mobile phones in Burma soon
Mizzima.com, India –
An official at the Myanmar Post and Telecommunication told Mizzima that it is all set to introduce a prepaid card system for mobile users, …

Burma’s HIV/AIDS Crisis in Red Alert: MSF
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The Geneva-based humanitarian aid organization said in its latest report “A Preventable Fate: The Failure of ART Scale-up in Myanmar,” that the situation …

Enrile’s grim past casts a long shadow
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
He reduced the killings of human rights activists, lawyers, judges and journalists to nothing but a byproduct of insurgency. He even boasted to journalists …

Domestic migrant workers still vulnerable: HRW
Mizzima.com, India –
Human Rights Watch, in comments released yesterday, said the problem of abuse of domestic labor is predominantly directed at female employees of individual …

Plight of Abused Burmese Women Highlighted on International Women …
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The WLB also urged the UN to press the Burmese regime to investigate allegations of human rights abuses against women in ethnic areas. …

“Pull Them Out With Tweezers”
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“The government’s imprisonment of humanitarian aid workers sends the message that Burmese social organizations must follow the junta’s regulations whether …

Spy identified at opposition meeting
Mizzima.com, India –
… for Democracy and Development (NDD), among others residing in Kuala Lumpur. The meeting discussed and exchanged views on the current situation in Burma.

War on drugs takes a hit
RT, Russia –
A price has been paid: human rights groups and the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights report “widespread and systematic” killings of civilians by the …

Nigerian activists take on Chevron in the US
OneWorld.net, UK –
The Alien Tort Statute has been used in cases charging Unocal with violating the human rights of Burmese villagers during the construction of an oil …

Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: Russian Landmines
UNPO, Netherlands –
No halt for landmine use by Burma and Russia – Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and Karenni State suffer. Turkey, Greece and Belarus have all violated an …

• Freedom is first
Hamilton Spectator, Canada –
Barbarity in Burma (Myanmar) last week served as a reminder that, with or without Barack Obama, the global struggle for liberty will rage on long after …

Burma: UN Resolution Barely Pushed Through
UNPO, Netherlands –

A United Nations resolution on human rights in Burma has been approved but faces diplomatic opposition. The United Nations General Assembly’s Third …

Sakharov Prize at 20: For democracy – against oppression
European Parliament (press release), EU –
Burmese political party the National League for Democracy won the general election in 1990. Instead of its most prominent member Aung San Suu Kyi becoming …

The task of unification
Mizzima.com, India –
Dr. Sein Myint serves as the director of Policy Development of Justice for Human Rights in Burma, located in Maryland, USA. He is an Honorary Member of …

Vulnerability in the spotlight
Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia –

Alongside Hura and Wasif, critically acclaimed photographer James Whitlow Delano also presented his exhibit, “Burma, A Flameless Inferno”. …

Daewoo Aggravating Bay of Bengal Tensions
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Just as Daewoo certainly knew of the disputed waters they were entering, they are also well aware of the well-documented human rights abuses associated with …

Tibetan Exiles’ Meeting Produces Comparisons with Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
They fall out from time to time—most recently when the NCGUB failed to cooperate with the NCUB in its action against the Burmese junta seat at the United …

CNPC to invest in Sino-Burma oil, gas pipeline
Your Oil and Gas News (press release), UK –
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), parent of the country’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina will team up with Myanmar Oil and Gas …

New era for human rights
Boston Globe, United States –
… from how to rescue democracy promotion from the stain of Iraq to how best to pressure human-rights abusers such as Burma and Zimbabwe. …

Great Nations & Industry Captains Ignore Thugocracies in Burma …
OpEdNews, PA –
Many took part in protests against the ruling junta sparked by fuel and food price rises in August 2007. Zarganar led a group of entertainers who organised …

Remember, Aung San Suu Kyi’s disengagement is not her choice
guardian.co.uk, UK –
There are several misinterpretations and failures to contextualise in the article on Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (Not such a hero after all, …

The Big Question: Who are the Elders, and can they do anything to …
Independent, UK –
… former Irish president and UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and, in absentia, Burmese democracy activist Aung Sun Suu Kyi. …

Moulamein – Culture and History
The Age, Australia –
Some claim the town’s name is Aboriginal and some argue it is an Indian word (Moulmein is a seaport in Burma), though the translation is consistently given …

US taps online youth groups to fight crime, terrorism
AFP –
The list of organizations due to attend include the Burma Global Action Network, a human rights movement spurred into action by the ruling junta’s crackdown …

Rebel vigil talks with Myanmar
Calcutta Telegraph, India –
24: India and Myanmar have agreed to enhance security co-operation and border vigil to check Northeast insurgent groups that have bases in the region. …

Human Rights undermines public safety, says Tory
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –
“Terrible human rights abuses in the world are taking place as we sit here today – in Zimbabwe, in Iran, in Sudan, in Burma. …

India, Myanmar to up security cooperation
Indian Express, India –
New Delhi, November 24 : Emphasising the need for “greater vigilance” at the border, India and Myanmar agreed to “enhance security cooperation to combat …

Good to speak about it. Even better to apply it!
FIDH (Communiqué de presse), France –
In 1948 the then UN member states adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. “Never again” were the words they proclaimed at the end of a conflict …

India-Burma holds another round of bilateral talks
Mizzima.com, India –
by Mungpi New Delhi – Burma and India on Sunday concluded the 9th foreign office consultation agreeing to cooperate in wide range of bilateral issues and to …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 3:29 am