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Archive for December 3rd, 2008

World focus on Burma (3 December 2008)

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ExWeb interview with Scott Mortensen, final: “Freedom of …
Mounteverest, NY –
But even though the situation was stifling it wasn’t oppressive. I would reserve that word for places like Burma, Darfur, and Iran. …

Barack Obama trimmings on President Bush’s Christmas tree
CNN Political Ticker –
The first lady also opened up about her service to the plight of women in Burma and Myanmar and how she plans to continue her work after her husband’s …

Corrupt clerk yet to be punished, India –
He added that so far the accused has not been prosecuted nor tried in any court. “All investigations were done by the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) …

Burma’s jailed hip hop singers shifted to remote prisons, India –
Zeya Thaw, (27), who was sentenced to six years in prison in November, was transferred from Rangoon’s Insein prison to Kawthaung prison in Burma’s southern …

Burmese comedian & blogger nominated for RSF award, India –
… freedom of information. “Both are listed among the nominees because despite suppression they have managed to provide information to both people in Burma …

Ex-presidents, premiers urge UN chief to intervene in Myanmar

“This is an unprecedented outpouring of global support for the people of Burma (Myanmar), and I am pleased that so many have joined me in spotlighting this …

Mandalay NLD members’ appeal denied
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Dec 3, 2008 (DVB)–Mandalay divisional court yesterday summarily rejected the appeal of six Mandalay National League for Democracy members including …

MYANMAR-THAILAND: Cyclone migrants face challenges, NY –
Local aid workers told IRIN that while Cyclone Nargis boosted the flow of Burmese through the town, they were only a small proportion of the tens of …

Will Ferrell Launches Human Rights Awareness Month
Look To The Stars, UK –
… woman called Aung San Suu Kyi, ” said Ferrell. “She sacrificed her freedom to lead a non-violent protest movement against oppression in Burma. …

Hip-hop Star Banished to Remote Prison
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… Burma by the end of this year and called for renewed efforts to secure the release of all political prisoners, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Grandfather’s torture by the British must have influenced Obama’s …, UK –
Grandfather Obama’s widow, Sarah, 87, is still alive and was able to recall how her husband had served with the British army in Burma in the second world …

Ins and outs of a China courtship
Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –
More recently, Beijing provided over $10 million to the government of Burma to assist regional reconstruction in areas that were devastated by Cyclone …

Burmese PM Says Jobs Aplenty for Returnees
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Last year, Thailand alone paid the Burmese junta at least US $2.5 million for natural gas. Since October, however, the price of oil and natural gas has …

Former world leaders urge Ban to visit Burma, India –
by Salai Pi Pi New Delhi (Mizzima) – More than 100 former state leaders of several nations have called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Burma …

Annual general meeting 2008: DLR presents its research of the past …
German Aerospace Centre, Germany –
On 2 May 2008, tropical cyclone ‘Nargis’ swept over Myanmar (Burma) and left behind a path of destruction. Official reports noted a death toll of more than …

Local WWII veterans get together, recall wartime experience
Reno Gazette Journal, NV –
After a roundabout trip more than halfway around the world, Downar arrived at an air base in Burma (now called Myanmar). He received the Distinguished …

STANDFast for Darfur
Tufts Daily, MA –
Four months ago, the International Criminal Court demanded an arrest warrant for Bashir on 10 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in …

Reuters Southeast Asia News Highlights 0900 GMT Dec 3
Yahoo, Thailand –
… Ban to carry out a plan he has already floated of visiting the country, also known as Burma, before the end of December for his second trip this year. …

Former Leaders Urge UN to Press Burma on Prisoner Releases
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“On Myanmar [Burma], no delegation gave any comment. But it is in the footnotes and could be raised anytime during the month of December,” said the UNSC …

Barack Obama’s grandfather ‘tortured by the British’ during …
Mail on Sunday, UK –
Hussein Onyango was arrested in 1949 and jailed for two years in a high security prison as the British struggled to quell one of Africa’s bloodiest and most …

UN urged to intervene
Straits Times, Singapore –
‘This is an unprecedented outpouring of global support for the people of Burma (Myanmar), and I am pleased that so many have joined me in spotlighting this …

Work starts at modern memorial site
WalesOnline, United Kingdom –
It is being erected next to the Burma Star memorial at the Gnoll Gates. It pays tributes to those who died in service after 1945 in conflicts such as Korea, …

Bleak Economic Prospects in Store for Thailand
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… 1 million Burmese workers, legal and illegal, are employed in Thailand, the majority found in occupations labor rights activists describe as the ”three …

More prisoners transferred to remote jails
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
U Gambira was transferred to Sagaing Division’s Khamti prison while his brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw was sent to Shan State’s Taunggyi jail. …

British soldiers beat and tortured Obama’s grandfather
The Times, South Africa –
… that ‘a lot of what see in Obama, was made not in America, but in Kenya’: ‘his political convictions and principled activism’. He may have a point. …

Malaysia. Truly Headache…
Malaysia Today, Malaysia –
Copying the Cruel Junta of the Burmese Regime, Opposition leaders are arrested and detained without rhyme or reason. Taking after the Khmer Rouge, …

Ex-world leaders urge UN’s Ban to go to Myanmar
Reuters India, India –
It said that since June 2007 the number of political prisoners in Myanmar, which has been ruled for more than four decades by the military, …

Beatings and abuse made Barack Obama’s grandfather loath the British
Times Online, UK –
Mr Onyango served with the British Army in Burma during the Second World War and, like many army veterans, he returned to Africa hoping to win greater …

Problems abroad
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Thailand is thus being put on a par with Burma, whose government was forced to relinquish its chairmanship in 2005 because of its legitimacy crisis. …

The Future of Asia: Whither Nation or State?, Philippines –
… and their compatriots then painted the region pink, adding Burma and what they then called Malaya, and Singapore, to their dominions while France’s …

Mia’s Munky business
Eye Weekly, Canada –
“If countries like Sudan, Somalia and Burma will not end their man-made humanitarian crises, the international community should.” Arguing the Pro side with …

China, Burma take steps to strengthen military cooperation, India –
… the Burmese regime in the international arena,” said Nyo Ohn Myint, in-charge of Foreign Affairs for the National League for Democracy-Liberated Area. …

people who were there for the Mau Mau revolt
Times Online, UK –
In a sworn statement collected by human rights activists, he details other abuses at Manyani, which he described as “hell on earth”. …

Having answered the call to join the British Army during the Second World War, Barack Obama’s grandfather was among 75000 Kenyans who served in Burma. …

Airport protests a royal pain
Eureka Street, Australia –

Together they co-founded New Mandala, a website that provides ongoing commentary on developments in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.

RPF bans export of local rice, India –
This figure is exclusive of the rice imported from the neighbouring country of Myanmar, the outfit elaborated. Accusing the Government of India of scheming …

The World This Week: Asian Chronicles
Valley Advocate, MA –
They lived a few blocks from Aung San Suu Kyi, the duly elected president of the country, who has been under house arrest for 20 years. …

‘Asset sale can’t cover for revenue gap’
Business Mirror, Philippines –
Asean groups the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma/Myanmar and Singapore. Members of the East Asia Summit, …

Fire breaks out at Moulmein market
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“The fire started in the market’s food court and it was quite small at first,” the shop owner said. “But the market security did not allow outsiders to come …

Junta begins dam construction amid protests in Kachin state, India –
Burma’s military government, in collaboration with CPI and AWC, plan to construct at least seven dams on the Mali Hka and Nmai Hka Rivers, in addition to …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm

NLD Leaders Discuss Role in 2010 Election

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deciding whether or not to participate in the forthcoming 2010 Burmese election is now one of the issues being discussed by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), say party sources.

Khin Maung Swe, an NLD executive member, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that in recent weeks, the NLD has held executive meetings focused on its strategy in the 2010 general elections.

“At the moment, the NLD stands on the party’s special political statement, issued on September 22,” said Khin Maung Swe. “The statement called for the government to review the constitution within six months and to conduct an inclusive process in Burmese politics. We think reviewing the constitution is an important step for national reconciliation.”

If the junta ignores the NLD’s call for a review, the crisis in Burmese politics will continue, he said.

He added that whether the NLD joins in the election depends largely on whether the junta will allow a constitutional review and permit all political parties to function freely.
He said, however, the NLD is keeping all of its options open depending on the political situation.

This weekend, the NLD met with an Italian diplomat, Attilio Massimo Ianucci, and discussed Burmese politics.

Khin Maung Swe said the NLD and the diplomat traded views. “He asked us if the NLD would take part in the election, but there was no urgency or call for the NLD to take part.”

Deutsche Press-Agentur (DPA) reported on November 29 that the Italian diplomat urged the NLD to participate in the election. Quoted in the report, Win Tin, a veteran journalist and a NLD executive, said: “He said at the present, the military occupied 100 percent of the government and after 2010, there would be only 25 percent. It is much better than the current situation.”

“We told him that 25 percent would be just a word and in practice the military would dominate. We said the constitution must be amended before the election.”

According to DPA, Win Tin told the press that within the NLD there were different views about the election. “Some [members] want to participant and some do not,” he said.

However, Aye Thar Aung, the secretary of the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP), an umbrella opposition group, said he recently met with NLD leaders and his understanding is that NLD policy is to review the junta-backed constitution first rather than to join the election.

“If some of the NLD take part in the election, they might do it individually,” he said.

He said the CRPP’s stand on the election is that it will not take part unless the junta opens up the political process. The CRPP was formed in 1998 by the winning parties in the election, including the NLD and ethnic opposition parties.

Meanwhile, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, the head of the ruling junta, reaffirmed on November 28 at a meeting of the junta’s mass organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association, that the regime’s “Seven-step Road Map” is the only way to a smooth transition to democracy.

“Now, plans are well under way to see to the remaining steps including the 2010 transition work programme,” Than Shwe was quoted as saying, according to state-run media.

Political analysts said there could well be more restrictions placed on political parties in the 2010 election laws, which the junta has yet to announce. Some rumors say the election law will be made public early next year, while others say the junta has postponed the announcement until June.

“Unlike the 1990 elections, we expect more restrictions,” said Aye Thar Aung.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm