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Archive for January 4th, 2009

US: Statement on Burma’s Independence Day

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02 January 2009

Statement on Burma’s Independence Day

U.S. looks forward to when Burma’s citizens can enjoy freedom and democracy

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
January 2, 2009

Statement by Sean McCormack, Spokesman

Burma’s Independence Day

Sunday, January 4, 2009 marks the 61st anniversary of Burma’s independence from British rule.  We wish to express our warmest wishes to the people of Burma on this occasion.  As we reflect on Burma’s independence struggle, led by General Aung San, we are reminded of our own history.

We support the peaceful efforts of people everywhere to exercise freely their universal human rights.  We stand with the Burmese people today in honoring Aung San’s vision for an independent, peaceful, and democratic Burma and look forward to the day when Burma’s citizens will be able to enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy.  We earnestly hope that day will come soon.

(end text)

http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2009/January/20090102121307ptellivremos0.9808313.html

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 4, 2009 at 1:39 am

Burmese Democracy Elusive as Country Marks Independence

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http://www.america.gov/

02 January 2009

Burmese Democracy Elusive as Country Marks Independence

State Department honors General Aung San’s vision, calls for more freedom

General Aung San (AP Images)

Burmese independence leader General Aung San, shown here in 1946, envisioned an independent, peaceful and democratic country.

Washington — As Burma’s people prepare to mark the 61st anniversary of their country’s independence from British rule on January 4, the Bush administration expressed its support for universal human rights guarantees and its hope that the Burmese soon “will be able to enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy.”

In a January 2 statement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack expressed “warmest wishes” to the Burmese people as they mark their independence, adding: “As we reflect on Burma’s independence struggle, led by General Aung San, we are reminded of our own history.”

The United States stands with the Burmese “in honoring Aung San’s vision for an independent, peaceful and democratic Burma,” and looks forward to the day the Burmese will be able to exercise their human rights, the statement said.

Acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters January 2 that the United States “fought a revolution in order to ensure representative government and the freedoms that we hold very dear,” such as those enshrined in the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

“We believe that the Burmese people 61 years ago did the same thing,” Duguid said. “Unfortunately, although independent, they have not enjoyed that freedom for much of their history.”

He said that after obtaining independence, Burma “started out as one of the leading nations in Asia,” but “that has not been the case recently” after decades of rule by the military regime. “They now lag in almost all indicators of societal development.”

According to press reports, nine pro-democracy activists were arrested in Rangoon on December 30, 2008, after using a silent march to call for the release of General Aung San’s daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi earned the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. Her National League for Democracy party won Burma’s national elections in 1990, but was prevented by the military junta from taking office. She has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years in detention.

In remarks to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2008, first lady Laura Bush praised Suu Kyi as well as other Burmese women who have shown courage by dissenting from the military government and promoting greater freedom in the country. (See “Burmese Cyclone Victims to Get Additional $5 Million in U.S. Aid.”)

The full text of McCormack’s statement on Burma is available on America.gov.

http://www.america.gov/st/democracy-english/2009/January/20090102141459esnamfuak0.5827448.html?CP.rss=true

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 4, 2009 at 1:35 am

World focus on Burma (4 January 2009)

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4, 1948, Burma ended 60 years of colonial rule when it officially declared independence from Britain. In June 1945, Burmese soldiers fought with the British …

Opposition: No hope for future of Myanmar
The Associated Press –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s pro-democracy party marked the 61st anniversary of the country’s independence from Great Britain on Sunday, …

Burma Blacklists US Artist
自由亚洲电视, Washington DC –
An American academic couple abandons a visit to Burma because one of them is blacklisted. BANGKOK—A prominent American professor and human rights advocate …

Three ‘small boys’
Manila Times, Philippines –
In the Burmese-Thai border, Johnny and Luther Htoo, 12-year-old twins, impressively command “God’s Army” of Karen rebels fighting Burma’s despotic military …

Today in History
Boston Globe, United States –
In 1948, Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule. In 1951, during the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces recaptured …

Myanmar marks 61-year independence
Radio Netherlands, Netherlands –
Myanmar, the former Burma, has marked the 61st anniversary of its independence with a ceremony and military parade attended by 3000 senior officials. …

Defiant Burmese junta marks independence day
Radio Australia News, Australia –
About 3 thousand ministers, government employees and senior officials attended the ceremony and the formal military parade in the remote capital of …

Colonial-era hotel a reminder of romantic past in neglected Myanmar
Asbury Park Press, NJ –
Before World War II, the Strand was reserved for “whites only,” but during the Japanese occupation of Burma — as Myanmar was formerly known — it became an …

THIS DATE IN HISTORY
Newsday, NY –
1948: Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule. 1951: During the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces recaptured Seoul …

Myanmar junta condemns ‘neocolonialist’ threat to independence
Earthtimes (press release), UK –

Than Shwe said all Burmese people were duty-bound to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty. The military junta is an international pariah for …

Burma Junta marks independence day
Independent Online, South Africa –
Yangon – Myanmar/Burma marked the 61st anniversary of its independence on Sunday with pomp and defiance, as the military junta called on citizens to support …

Human Rights Abuse in Myanmar?
코리아타임즈, South Korea –

… have breached and will continue to breach a number of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises related to their activities in Burma (Myanmar). .

Marking Burma’s Independence Day
Voice of America –
Sunday, January 4, 2009 marks the 61st anniversary of Burma’s independence from British rule. Yet for most of the years since then, the aspirations of …

US expresses support in Burma anniversary message
Radio Australia News, Australia –
The United States has highlighted its support for efforts to establish democracy in military-run Burma, in a statement marking Burma’s 61st anniversary of …

Every day is special – 04.01.2009
Sunday’s Zaman, Turkey –
Today is Independence Day in Myanmar (Burma). On Jan. 4, 1948, the nation became an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as …

Don’t be fooled by the ‘little’ woman
guardian.co.uk, UK –
The Burmese dissenter Aung San Suu Kyi could well have been assassinated by now if she were a man. Delicate, slight and fetching, she makes the perfect …

Huge Year for Natural Disasters
Democrat Newspaper, St. Kitts and Nevis –

Cyclone Nargis in Burma killed an estimated 130000 people and devastated much of the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta region, while the earthquake which struck …

Politics still reign over principles at UN, critics say
FinalCall.com, IL –
… France and Britain have continued to protect Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan while Russia and China continue to shield Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma (Myanmar) …

State Department Honors General Aung San’s Vision, Calls for More …
NewsBlaze, CA –
By Stephen Kaufman As Burma’s people prepare to mark the 61st anniversary of their country’s independence from British rule on January 4, …

Rats Causing Famine in Myanmar
Christian News Wire (press release), DC –

… plant’s natural growing cycle has caused parts of the region to be overrun with rats, which has caused a famine in the small country of Myanmar (Burma). …

Just one more year of the dreaded Oh-Ohs
Kamloops This Week,  Canada –
In 2008, a cyclone in Burma killed 78000, while a Chinese earthquake killed 50000, but those disasters were pushed from many minds when financial chaos …



Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 4, 2009 at 1:25 am

Zarganar, Hold on, We Know You Are Alive: Comedian of Burma Jailed for 45 Years

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http://themoderatevoice.com/

January 3rd, 2009
By DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Assistant Editor, TMV Columnist

Writing today about Kathy Griffin and other comedians in the USA, I thought for the millionth time about dear Zarganar; the great comedic heart of Burma who just two months ago was insanely punished by the bloated multi-millionaire dictator of Burma, Than Shwe…

Than Shwe, surely the lost twin brother of Mugabe in Zimbabwe… Than Shwe, the walking talking roasted pig with his rotten teeth stuffed with diamonds from loot taken from his organized cocaine trade …

Than Shwe, it is said, was spiritually eaten by demons via his withholding of foreign aid, medical supplied, rice, water and doctors from the suffering Burmese whom he purposely injured in the Aug 2007 uprising of Buddhist monks and nuns…

and attacked relentlessly by demons again when he, Than Shwe, the walking corpulent corpse denied foreign aid again, denied doctors entry to treat the victims of the Nargis cyclone in 2008 that killed over 100,000 tribal and city Burmese and injured millions more.

And now Than Shwe in another of his Jabba the Hutless excesses, sentences a mere comic soul to 45 years in prison. Zarganar is 47 years old. Oh how great Than Shwe must be the power of the comedic to bring you down, how weak you must be to fear such a mere comic soul.

Could it be Than Shwe, that so fraught is your clawing lust for power, so malignantly filled with dukka is your mind, so bent you are on consigning yourself to everlasting vajra hell, that you have to silence one who makes others laugh?

Little Zarganar was found to have violated a mockery of justice written at Than Shwe’s behest… “the Electronics Act,” which regulates electronic communications in Burma… essentially bleating that no one is allowed to say anything to disparage the demonic infestations of Than Shwe.

Round, diminutive Zarganar was detained earlier in 2008 for criticising the government’s slow response to Cyclone Nargis. More than 100 activists who rose to prod the government and to deliver mercy to the Burmese, have been sentenced over the past 8 weeks in what amounts to a suspension of Burma’s pro-democracy movement.

“Zarganar led a group of entertainers who organised private aid deliveries to victims of Cyclone Nargis, which hit in May 08. An outspoken satirist of the military government, Zarganar had already been arrested and jailed four times before he was forced from his home again by the authorities in June 2008.”

The gentle but sharp witted Zarganar had said just prior to Than Shwe’s flying monkeys coming to arrest him: “No, we never encounter any problems, because we negotiated with [soldiers], and we just want to pass [out] our donation parcels. We just want to encourage our people. This is our duty.”

And Zarganar, through various groups outside Burma, including Amnesty International and PEN, the writers’ group that supports imprisoned artists and petitions for their release, we have a duty too… to not forget you.

Also convicted along with comedian Zarganar, are key members of the so-called ‘88 Generation of activists,’ all sentenced to 65 years… and a total of 68 years imprisonment was brought down against Ashin Gambira, leader of the monks’ alliance that led last year’s anti-government uprising.

I know Kathy Griffin would know just what to say about all this.
All free comedians throughout the world would know just what to say about Than Shwe.
I hope, for Zarganar’s sake, they will say it. Than Shwe needs MORE, not less, comedians on his case. Relentlessly. Publicly.

Comedians have ever been one of the few cultural groups strong enough, equipped enough with the weaponry of wit, to consistently speak truth to lies.

Semper fi.

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http://themoderatevoice.com/25397/zarganar-hold-on-we-know-you-are-alive-comedian-of-burma-jailed-for-45-years/

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 4, 2009 at 1:22 am