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Archive for January 22nd, 2009

World focus on Burma (22 January 2009)

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Opposition groups expect no change from Obama
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“We are sure that the basic policy of the United States to support human rights and democracy in Burma will remain the same,” he said. …

Centennial birthday of Myanmar’s former UN chief marked – Summary
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
U Thant, one of the few Burmese to reach international stature, remains a controversial figure in military-controlled Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

PM vows crackdown on illegal immigrants
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Survivors and a human rights group have accused the army and navy of detaining and beating up to 1000 members of the Rohingya minority from Burma late last …

Burma a workers’ dystopia
Toronto Star,  Canada –
The government of Burma is known by an Orwellian antonym – the “State Peace and Development Council,” or SPDC. In truth, Burma, also known as Myanmar, …

The ties that bind Thailand’s Burma policy
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
… slipped through the back door and into the prime minister’s seat in Thailand late last year, exiled democracy advocates from Burma welcomed him. …

Roundtable: A new government in exile?
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the majority of MPs are still there. We have to respect the desire of the people inside the country. We cannot accept a unilateral …

Centennial birthday of Myanmar’s former UN chief marked – Summary
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
U Thant, one of the few Burmese to reach international stature, remains a controversial figure in military-controlled Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

Detained female activist suffers miscarriage in prison
Mizzima.com, India –
Tun Tun, husband of Kathy Aung and a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), who is on the run from authorities, told Mizzima from his …

Gambira transferred to Hkamti prison: Prison official
Mizzima.com, India –
by Ko Wild Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Detained veteran Monk Gambira, who was allegedly staging a hunger strike in Mandalay prison, has been transferred to the …

Can’t interfere in Lankan affairs: Dalai Lama
Express Buzz, India –
Though I am a Buddhist leader, I am not allowed to enter countries like Sri Lanka and Burma, where there is a large number of Buddhist believers,’’ he said …

Hot Docs: Global Optimism Over President Obama; Women and Cute Babies
U.S. News & World Report, DC –
The eight countries that received the survey’s lowest rankings were North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Libya, Sudan, Burma, Equatorial Guinea, …

AIDS Patients Forced to Leave Monastery
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The patients, including two young children, were from various parts of Burma and were too poor to go to a hospital, the source said. …

UN Seeks Interviews with Rohingyas Held by Thailand
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Since the early 1990s, a rising number of Rohingya refugees have taken to boats, many not sea worthy, and fled Burma and Bangladesh for political and …

Men found floating in ice box taken for questioning by Australian …
Visa Bureau, UK –
A helicopter rescued the Myanmar men on Saturday and taken to a hospital on Thursday Island. The pair said they were forced to work aboard a Thai fishing …

Men found floating in ice box taken for questioning by Australian …
Visa Bureau, UK –
A helicopter rescued the Myanmar men on Saturday and taken to a hospital on Thursday Island. The pair said they were forced to work aboard a Thai fishing …

PM vows crackdown on illegal immigrants
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Survivors and a human rights group have accused the army and navy of detaining and beating up to 1000 members of the Rohingya minority from Burma late last …

U Gambira transferred to Khandee prison
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
The All Burmese Monks’ Alliance leader was reported to have been staging a hunger strike in Mandalay prison last week. Mandalay prison officials told the …

The ties that bind Thailand’s Burma policy
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
… slipped through the back door and into the prime minister’s seat in Thailand late last year, exiled democracy advocates from Burma welcomed him. …

Democracy Activist Released After 5-Month Interrogation
Narinjara News, Bangladesh –
“He was hiding in unknown locations for many months after the Saffron Revolution due to fear of arrest by the Burmese military authority. …

Burmese Monk Suffering After UNHCR Rejection
Narinjara News, Bangladesh –
… refugees while many other monks and citizens who were victims of the junta had their claims rejected. Many Burmese refugees believe that such decisions …

Pair detained over Burma kidnap scandal
The Age, Australia –
Police in north China have detained two people allegedly linked to the Burma-based kidnapping of at least 50 teenagers whose parents were sent ransom …

Thailand Refuses UN Access To Rohingya Refugees
RTT News, NY –
(RTTNews) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Wednesday refused to grant UN experts access to 126 boat people from Myanmar, following accusations that the Thai …

Obama era challenges SA to change its foreign tune
Business Day, South Africa –
Apart from blocking UN discussions about human rights in Zimbabwe, we voted against imposing sanctions on Burma’s military junta and Iran, for violating …

Thai army admits funding round-up of refugees
The Malaysian Insider, Malaysia –
BANGKOK, Jan 22 – A colonel in the Thai army has confirmed its involvement in a programme to round up boatpeople from Myanmar and Bangladesh and send them …

BURMA: AUTHORITIES CLAMP DOWN ON CHRISTIANS
Compass Direct News, CA –
A military dictatorship has ruled Burma since 1962. Following the takeover, the government renamed Burma as the Union of Myanmar and the capital city as …

SA now a ‘rogue democracy’
The Times, South Africa –
Apart from blocking UN discussions about human rights in Zimbabwe, we voted against imposing sanctions on Burma’s rights-delinquent military junta, …

Burma, Myanmar: Sri Lanka-base Burmese Media Website Attacked
Ashin Mettacara, Sri Lanka –
They are very often hacking the Myanmar news websites because they are scared of monks and medias since last year September. The Indian hackers were also …

A New Government for Burma
Wall Street Journal –
… clusters of Burmese, as well as foreign experts in political, economic, and other fields, to work on a blueprint for a transition to democracy in Burma. …



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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Is China’s influence on Burmese generals eroding?

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Mizzima

by Mungpi

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 20:57

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Though it may seem to many, including the international community, that China, Burma’s strongest ally, is the only country that can influence the rogue military rulers of Burma, an analyst said, China is also currently facing a tough situation as the Burmese generals are stupid and stubborn and do not do what they are asked to by their elder brother – China.

Mya Maung a long time Sino-Burmese analyst based along the two countries’ border in Ruili, during an interview with Mizzima said China is currently in a tight spot as the Burmese regime is stubbornly refusing to follow its suggestions.

Surprisingly, he said, China’s suggestions to Burmese military rulers include implementing an inclusive political dialogue with opposition groups, as well as to reconsider the constitution, which the junta had claimed was approved during a referendum in May.

“But the problem is China has its own national interests to think of at and they are not in a position to put too much pressures on the junta,” Mya Maung said.

According to him, among many economic ventures that China seeks in Burma, connecting a gas pipeline from Burma’s western Arakan state to Yunnan province and using the Sittwe port as a sea gateway, are crucial.

“China may seem to be endorsing the junta’s roadmap, but it is more concerned that there is some kind of stability in the country,” Mya Maung said.

He said the Chinese government sees that the United Nations’ initiative is ideal for Burma’s political solution as it has strongly opposed the Western nations’ way of pressuring the junta with economic sanctions.

China believes in engagement but would like a strong and stable government that would be accountable, Mya Maung said.

Currently, the United States and European Union has imposed economic sanctions on Burma’s military rulers.

Complimenting  Mya Maung’s analysis, a secret document leaked to Mizzima reveals that China’s ambassador to Burma Mr. Juan Mu urged the Burmese Foreign Minister, during one of their meetings in early last year, to cooperate with the UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari and follow his suggestions on political reforms.

The meetings minutes between Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win and Ambassador Juan Mu, reveals that the Chinese ambassador had urged Nyan Win to allow Gambari to play a greater role by allowing him a tripartite meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and liaison minister Aung Kyi, and to allow him multiple-entry Visa to Burma, and to open a liaison office in Rangoon.

Juan Mu also said, China is endorsing the United Nations initiative and would be ready to provide necessary support to the special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

But Nyan Win, yet another puppet Foreign Minister of the Junta’s paramount leader Senior General Than Shwe, refused the request saying a tripartite meeting between Gambari, Aung Kyi and Aung San Suu Kyi is impossible but assured meetings with junior junta officials.

Nyan Win, during the conversation with Juan Mu, also said Gambari cannot be given multiple entry Visa to Burma and the regime could not allow him to have a liaison office in Rangoon.

Juan Mu, representing the voice of China, however, told Nyan Win that China fully understood Burma’s situation and would use its influence to convince the international community particularly the diplomatic community in Rangoon on the junta’s planned roadmap.

Mya Maung said, though China wants to see a stable Burma, in recent days it has failed to influence the junta, led by Senior General Than Shwe, in many areas including its response to the deadly Cyclone Nargis.

“These are signs that China, though it may seem to be the only country with a lot of influence on Burma’s military rulers, are having a tough time with the generals, as they are forced to consider their interest,” Mya Maung concludes.

http://www.mizzima.com/news/regional/1576-is-chinas-influence-on-burmese-generals-eroding.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm