Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Dictatorship

World focus on Burma (29 July 2008)

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Press Gaggle by Dana Perino

MarketWatch –

… on Burma and the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE, which is Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts Act. That will be in the (Oval) Office and pool coverage. …

Bush OKs new sanctions on Myanmar

UPI NewsTrack TopNews

The Tom Lantos Block Burmese Jade Act of 2008 blocks the import of all jade and rubies from Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, into the United States — both raw materials and finished jewelry.

Stop insuring “Burmese repression”, report says

Mizzima.com, India –

The Burma Campaign UK, a group advocating for human rights and democracy in Burma, in its new report said, these companies are allowing billions of dollars …

AFP –

WASHINGTON (AFP) — President George W. Bush on Tuesday renewed a ban on imports from military-ruled Myanmar and also signed a new law that aims to keep …

Bush OKs New Sanctions on Myanmar

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

… the import of all jade and rubies from Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, into the United States — both raw materials and finished jewelry. …

President Bush Signs HJRes. 93, the Renewal of Import Restrictions …

Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC –

… to welcome members of the Lantos family — Mrs. Lantos, thanks for joining us — and members of Congress who care deeply about democracy in Burma. …

UN aims to address foreign exchange losses

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Burmese economist Khin Maung Nyo said the system was intended to allow foreign currency to be used in Burma but could be abandoned if conditions were right. …

Burma Relief Still Needed

The Epoch Times, NY –

(International Aid Agenci/Getty Images) Two months after the worst storm in its history obliterated Myanmar’s (Burma) coastal regions leaving over two …

UN Press Conference on Myanmar by UN Under-Secretary General for …

ISRIA (subscription), DC –

Just back from a three-day visit to assess the situation in Myanmar’s cyclone-devastated Ayeyarwady delta region, the top United Nations humanitarian …

Rights & Wrongs: Argentina, Burma, Karadzic and Pakistan

World Politics Review –

BURMA SIGNS ASEAN CHARTER, RESISTS COMPLIANCE MONITORING — Optimism in the wake of the Burmese military junta’s decision last week to sign the new charter …

UN aid disappearing in Burma cash scam

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

“We buy kyats at the market rate using dollars,” Daniel Baker, the humanitarian co-ordinator for Burma said that day. “The government has not benefited. …

Bush heading for Thailand to meet Myanmar activists

Merinews, India –

US President George W Bush, who brought in harsher economic and financial sanctions against the Myanmar military junta, will visit Thailand in early August. …

Labutta cyclone refugees sent back to villages

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 29, 2008 (DVB)–Local authorities in Labutta township in Irrawaddy division have in the past week started sending cyclone refugees from temporary camps …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Burma has three Internet service providers—the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), BaganNet/Myanmar Teleport (formerly known as Bagan …

Mizzima website under attack

Mizzima.com, India –

Mizzima News Agency, run by Burmese journalists, is an independent Burmese multi-media group focusing on Burma and related news and issues, and maintains …

NAM ministerial meeting begins

Economic Times, India –

The Bandung Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, …

South African Lawyer Confirmed as UN Rights Chief

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

As UN high commissioner for human rights, Navanethem Pillay will oversee a Geneva-based office with almost 1000 employees and a budget approaching $150 …

Christian leaders questioned over anti-dam campaign

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Jul 29, 2008 (DVB)–Christian religious leaders in Kachin state in northern Burma have been interrogated by local authorities about a poster campaign against …

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

There have been two precedents: Both Laos and Burma gave up their turn because of domestic problems. Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda has …

Burma protestors name and shame insurers

Post Magazine (subscription), UK –

The Burma Campaign UK has today published a new report naming and shaming insurers it claims have facilitated the flow of billions of dollars in to the …

10 million dollars in UN aid “disappear” thanks to Burmese Junta’s …

AsiaNews.it, Italy –

The market rate for kyats is around 1100 per dollar but the UN rate established the junta in Myanmar and payment is now around 880, resulting in a “loss of …

World at a glance

InTheNews.co.uk, UK –

A military junta has ruled Burma since 1962 and in the last year the eyes of the world have twice focused on its regime. A British soldier has been killed …

Tiffany Applauds Congress’ Ban on Burmese Gemstones

IDEX Online, Israel –
… Monday ran an advertisement in the Washington Post saluting the US Congress for passing an absolute embargo on rubies originating in Burma ( Myanmar ). ..

Tehran meeting crucial for NAM revitalization

Mathaba.Net, UK –

The Bandung Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, …

Rights group praises US legislation banning Burmese gems

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

The European Union and Canada already prohibit the import of Myanmar gems. The change in the US law would stipulate that retailers keep records documenting …

Bush likely to meet Burmese activists during Thailand visit

Mizzima.com, India –
Bush is also expected to raise Burma issue during his talks with Thai officials including Foreign Minister Samak. During his term as the President of the …

Currency Loss Unacceptable, but UN Aid to Continue: Holmes

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Holmes was in Burma last week visiting parts of the Irrawaddy delta, which was devastated by Cyclone Nargis in the first week of May, to review the progress …

UN loses US$10m in Burma cyclone aid from exchange rate

The Standard, Hong Kong –

The United Nations said it has lost about US$10 million (HK$78 million) in cyclone relief funds in Burma because of the government-set exchange rate and has …

HRDP provides antenatal support for pregnant women

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

The shelter was founded by HRDP member Ma Myint Myint Mu, who has been involved in relief work in the region since the cyclone. Ma Win Khine, who lost most …

Urge Thai Business to Indochina Investment

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

In May 2008, the bank extended loans worth a total of 13 billion baht to Thai businesses to invest in international projects in the region: in Burma made up …

New Human Rights Chief Faces Daunting Task

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

… a jurist from Canada, who was an equally vociferous defender of human rights and who was refused entry into both North Korea and Myanmar (Burma). …

UN reports losses due to Myanmar exchange rate

Los Angeles Times, CA –

Inner City Press reported last week that the military government in Myanmar, also known as Burma, had changed the official exchange rate since the cyclone …

Drugs, sports and human rights

WalesOnline, United Kingdom –

… of the human rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the governments of Sudan and Burma”. …

Obama Should Stand Up to Russia’s Regime

Wall Street Journal –

Mr. Obama also asked if the West would stand up for “the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe. …

US: Burma Gem Ban Strengthened

Human Rights Watch (press release) –

Burmese gemstones are tainted by gross human rights abuses. The jewelry industry should take firm action to assure its customers – as well as law …

Time for change’s Journal

Democratic Underground, DC –

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” …

Preserving THE PAST

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

This development of cultural diversity, combined with the economic influence from Chinese merchants and the Shan and Burmese teak loggers from British Burma …

Washington Times, DC –

UNITED NATIONS | Burma is forcing UN aid agencies to convert cash to local currency at below-market rates, costing the world body $10 million so far and …

Constitutional dance makes way for a populist jig

Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa –

The government’s foreign affairs policy, not only on Zimbabwe but also on other dictatorships like Burma, reveals that foreign policy and the Constitution …

Official: UN Lost $10M in Burma

New York Sun, United States –

He promised to raise the issue with Burma’s government to ensure that losses could be cut down in the future. But evidence emerged yesterday that the UN …

The darker side of landscape art

Fresno Bee (subscription), CA –

… considered one of the most prestigious awards in photography, for his 1990 coverage of the ethnic civil war in Burma, now Myanmar. …

Myanmar aid losses ‘unacceptable:’ UN aid coordinator

AFP –

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN aid operation in cyclone-hit Myanmar has lost around 10 million dollars due to distortions in the country’s official exchange …

UN credits Burma for post-cyclone rebuilding

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

United Nations (dpa) – The government in Burma has made “quite a lot of progress” in post-Cyclone Nargis reconstruction efforts since the disaster struck in …

Activists accuse insurers on Burma

Financial Times, UK –

By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi Activists pressing for an end to military rule in Burma have accused global insurance groups of “underwriting” the Burmese junta …

Insurance giants urged to stop business with Burma

MyFinances.co.uk, UK –

Sixteen of the world’s biggest insurance companies have been called on to stop trading in Burma. A new report says companies are allowing billions of …

Progress being made on Myanmar aid effort, says UN’s top relief …

UN News Centre –

28 July 2008 – A degree of normality has returned to some areas affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and there are visible signs of progress in ..

UN admits “significant” Myanmar exchange rate loss

Reuters –

Earlier this month the United Nations issued an appeal for over $300 million in additional aid for Myanmar to cope with the effects of a cyclone in May that …

Changing Course On Burma

Voice of America –

She said the group was instrumental in persuading the junta to reverse its initial obstruction of assistance and accept international aid after Cyclone …

Eureka Street, Australia –

In a small dimly-lit room at the Burmese immigration office, on the border of northern Thailand and Burma, there is a large, luminous portrait of General …

Fighter for the oppressed

Manly Daily, Australia –

“There are times when I wonder how human beings could be so evil,” she said. “The ones that make me most upset are the ones that are planned, where someone …

China, protesters may play cat-and-mouse during Olympics

McClatchy Washington Bureau, DC –

Activist groups that oppose China’s policies in Sudan’s Darfur region, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, Zimbabwe or in China’s own Tibet and Xinjiang regions …

Gay human rights violations don’t sway state lawmakers on Iran …

Bay Windows, MA –

Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan … why Iran versus these other countries? There are a lot of countries that have human rights issues . …

Academic insights

The Standard, Hong Kong –

The new books follows the series on understanding East and Southeast Asia, which covered 11 countries including Vietnam, Myanmar (also known as Burma), …

The Epoch Times, NY –

Moreover, Dr. Trey notes that the Internet offers are surprising in that Asian countries are reluctant to donate organs, unlike western cultures, …

The Return of History and the End of Dreams

The Age, Australia –

Their support for autocratic regimes in North Korea, Burma, Sudan and Iran is all about the pursuit of what great powers have always pursued: power and …

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GEORGE W. BUSH : Captive Nations Week, 2008

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Captive Nations Week, 2008
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Freedom is the longing of every soul and the birthright of all mankind. During Captive Nations Week, we underscore our commitment to advancing democracy, defending liberty, and protecting human rights around the world.

It is in our Nation’s interest to help those who are suffering under oppressive regimes defeat the ideologues of hate with an ideology of hope. Advancing the cause of liberty advances the cause of peace. A free society upholds justice and defends human dignity. Over the years, many have underestimated the power of freedom to overcome tyranny, but history has shown us that freedom will prevail.

In the 20th century, the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged. Today, our Nation faces new struggles with adversaries who murder the innocent and seek to subject millions to their violent, totalitarian rule. Still, we remain confident that the light of liberty will again overcome this darkness.

To bring that day about, we must support young democracies in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. In countries like Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe, people continue to live under oppressive regimes, and we will work for the day when all these nations are free. By opposing these despots and helping young democracies grow, we will lay the foundation of peace and prosperity for generations to come. Throughout Captive Nations Week, we renew our pledge that as people across the world find their own paths to freedom, they will also find a friend in the United States of America.

The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat. 212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July of each year as “Captive Nations Week.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 20 through July 26, 2008, as Captive Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to reaffirm our commitment to all those seeking liberty, justice, and self-determination.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

GEORGE W. BUSH

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/07/20080718-3.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

World focus on Burma (14 July 2008)

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Mysterious murder of elderly woman in Rangoon
Mizzima.com, India –
New Delhi – An elderly woman in Burma’s former capital Rangoon was found dead in her residence-cum tailoring shop in Hledan Street in Kamayut Township on …

Thailand’s trafficking shame

United Press International, Asia, China –

These people are forced to enter the trade, often because of poor economic conditions coupled with a lack of local human rights protections. …

A new John Woo Chinese movie, “Red Cliffs” and the profound …

Capitol Hill Blue, VA –

The Modus Operandi of the present junta of military dictators in Burma (Myanmar) is also like that of Mao’s posing as the great strategist Chuko-Liang …

Damaged rice production regions monitored with GIS

Western Farm Press –

The commodity intelligence reports issued for the country formerly known as Burma focus on Myanmar’s major rice-producing areas, which have suffered …

The boss who sweeps the floor

NW Evening Mail, UK –

It was one of the few organisations to have staff allowed into Burma early after the recent Cyclone Nargis to help organise relief operations, …

Save the Children smash two world records in record time!

Politics.co.uk, UK –

For further information about our work please visit http://www.savethechildren.org.uk *** CHINA earthquake and BURMA cyclone – We`re helping children and their …

A once in a lifetime chance

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – o

Thirty-three pilgrims, six priests, three mauve nuns – each left a Burma where churches cannot be rebuilt and large gatherings are still outlawed. …

Children give up their beds for ‘Giant Sleepover’ world record attempt

24dash, UK –

The recent cyclone in Myanmar (Burma) and the earthquake in China continue to affect the lives of millions of children. Each night many children in Myanmar …

Benefit Concert in San Francisco on August 2 to Provide Aid for …

U.S. Asian Wire (press release), NJ –

SAN FRANCISCO—(US ASIAN WIRE)— Touched by the destruction left by the cyclone in Burma (Myanmar) and the earthquake in Sichuan province, China, …

Disney Interactive Studios Partners With Music for Relief for …

Business Wire (press release), CA –

… or know someone abroad that has suffered from the cyclone that devastated Burma/Myanmar this past spring, teens are eager to band together and support a …

Thailand: Refugee policy gets mixed reviews

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Since early 2005, UNHCR has been involved in the resettlement of more than 30000 Burmese refugees from camps on the Thai/Myanmar border to third countries. …

Armed Burmese Uprising “Likely Consequence”: Chomsky

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Chomsky said that China, the biggest supporter of the Burmese generals, would likely tolerate the overthrow of the junta. “Maybe even welcome it,” he said. …

Six Burmese Athletes to Compete in Olympics

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By SAW YAN NAING Six Burmese athletes will be sent to Beijing next month for the 2008 Olympic Games, according to the Myanmar Olympic Committee (MOC). …

More Relief Effort Needed: Asean Secretary-General

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Meanwhile, a top UN official in Burma said the biggest challenge in the cyclone-devastated area is how to keep the relief work moving forward. …

Aceh Fishermen Serving Jail Terms in Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

“We have a directorate of protection in the Indonesian embassy in Myanmar [Burma] that will follow up any information on Indonesian citizens being detained …

Junta plans to pull strings to win elections

Mizzima.com, India –

… any potential political party or political figures who are really seeking a free and fair election to usher in democracy in Myanmar (Burma),” he said. …

First the storm, then the plague

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

When asked how things are in the Cylone-affected Irrawaddy delta of Myanmar, the first thing that they describe is the flies. Thick clouds of biting flies …

After Buddhist monks, bloggers are second helpful in Burma

OpEdNews, PA –

Buddhist monks have given food and shelter to the cyclone survivors and have raised money, medicine and aid by preaching Dhamma in public to help the people …

Burmese politics: road ahead

Mizzima.com, India –

Burma’s main political opposition, the National League for Democracy, which has opposed every step of the junta’s road map, said it is still undecided …

Poll reveals most Burmese ignorant about constitution

Mizzima.com, India –

Despite the junta’s claim that its draft constitution has been overwhelmingly supported by 92.48 per cent of all eligible voters, a random survey conducted …

What if Thailand Wants ‘Migrant Problems’?

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The media and NGOs usually focus more on “problem” migrant issues, such as work permits, medical care, education of children and human rights. …

High-mindedness didn’t save hostages – ‘hard power’ did

Philadelphia Inquirer, PA –

Before that, the cause du jour was Burma, where a vicious dictatorship allowed thousands of cyclone victims to die by denying them independently delivered …

Agencies Seek to Protect Cyclone Orphans

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Tin Yain, 58, gathers her granddaughters as she narrates how the kids’ parents were killed during the cyclone. With thousands of casualties from the cyclone, a great number of children were orphaned and are now living with their relatives or neighbors that care for them. (Photo: AP)
“The goal is to put in place a mechanism to protect children from neglect, violence, abuse and exploitation,” says a statement from the UN Children’s Fund, …

Cyclone-hit Burma farmers unable to return to fields

ABC Online, Australia –

More than 138000 people are dead or missing after the cyclone struck Burma on May 2, washing away entire villages and flooding fields. …

Two months after cyclone, Myanmar farmers still can’t return to fields
Straits Times, Singapore –
KANYINKONE (Myanmar) – MR Kyaw Lwin and his wife stitched together thatch to make a new roof for the bamboo shack they now call home, after their farm was …

The UN and Comrade Bob

Wall Street Journal –

As with Darfur and Burma, the depredations of Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe have become a target of the world’s moral outrage. …

‘Emission cuts will lead to a clean energy economy’

IndiaPost.com, CA –

The cyclone that caused massive devastation in Burma and the extensive floods in Iowa, for instance are linked in the public perception to climate change, …

Nineteen Docs Set for Sundance Support

Indie Wire –

Myo Myint’s dramatic transformation from a soldier of Burma’s junta to a pro-democracy activist; from a tortured political prisoner to a refugee making a …

The tilt towards a new Pan-Asianism

China Post, Taiwan –

It was able to create a Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, which encompassed the whole of Southeast Asia and Burma as well. …

You cannot sow prosperity with seeds of destruction !

Gather.com, MA –

President Bush provided insight into this policy shift when he went on television to offer supportive disaster relief to millions of people in Burma/Myanmar …

Opium poppy fields increasing in North

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Although Burma has 100 times more land planted with poppy, the problem in Thailand is no less serious, he said, citing statistics from other Southeast Asian …

Durban II: trashing human rights

Washington Times, DC –

A recent resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate instances where freedom of expression may have discriminated against race or …

‘Resonant and unwavering’

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

You have said the US played a significant role in actions that led to the installation of the Burmese junta back in 1962. What’s the subtext, the background …

Miracle plant’s monstrous potential

Eureka Street, Australia –

The military regime of Burma has ordered poor subsistence farmers to stop growing rice, once a major export crop, and plant Jatropha as biofuel for domestic …

Due in paperback: Obama’s ‘The Audacity of Hope’ and McCain’s ‘Why Courage Matters

Los Angeles Times, CA –
… says character and courage can affect history, profiling activists such as civil rights leader John Lewis and Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Defeating Mugabe

The Herald, UK –

… and the power it hands to those who subvert democracy and human rights. The same two countries last year rejected measures to curb repression in Burma. …

Myanmar Christian tells conference how God is changing lives after …

Dallas Baptist Standard, TX –

By Staff, The Baptist Standard DALLAS–A Christian leader from Myanmar (Burma) told a missions conference in Dallas July 11 that despite the sobering …

Region to practice disaster relief preparation

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

It will set the stage for real emergency response to disasters, such as the recent cyclone that ravaged Burma and left 138000 dead or missing as its ruling ...

Human smugglers fingered & Put an end to trafficking

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Human smugglers fingered

Bangkok Post, 14 April 2008
Post Reporters

The Je Ngor (elder sister Ngor) gang is one of the five most influential groups bringing illegal Burmese job seekers into Thailand, according to reliable sources in Ranong.

The Je Ngor gang is thought to have smuggled the 54 Burmese into the country who died of suffocation in the back of a sealed cold-store truck in Ranong last week.

These gangs are well-entrenched networks of Thai and Burmese job brokers who use bribes to avoid arrest on both sides of the border.

The Je Ngor gang mainly supplies cheap labour from Mawlamyine (Moulmein) in southern Burma to the coastal province of Ranong, the sources said.

Currently, there are at least five such groups of people in Ranong, a coastal province bordering Burma, bringing in illegal Burmese workers, the sources said.

The Je Ngor gang had probably brokered the arrival of the 121-strong group of Burmese, including the 54 who died, who entered through Ranong and were packed into the cold-storage 10-wheel truck on Wednesday night for secret transport to Phuket. These job seekers picked up in Burma were taken by gang members to Koh Song islet in Ranong by boat last week.

They were told to wait for a truck at a fish market, which picked them up about 8pm on Wednesday.

“We were sandwiched in the truck, unable to move. There were far too many people crammed inside,” recalled Ko Hla, 32-year-old survivor.

Soon after the truck left the market, people began gasping for air and then rapidly began suffocating because the ventilation system was not functioning.

Driver Suchon Bunplong eventually stopped the vehicle, but fled when he saw the dead bodies, Ko Hla said.

Police are still searching for him.

Ko Hla, who came from Tavoy, on the Burmese southern coast, with his 19-year-old girlfriend, said the tragedy had not discouraged him from working here.

Life is too hard in Burma, he said.

He spent a lot of money on brokers in Burma and Thailand.

He and the other illegal migrants gathered in Moulmein where they were contacted by Burmese brokers, who passed themselves off as bus drivers or taxi motorcyclists.

The brokers hide them in large cargo boats, which travel to Ranong at night, the source said.

Ko Hla said he paid 12,000 baht to the broker. This was just enough to take him to a job in one of the southern provinces like Prachuap Khiri Khan or Phuket. To work in Bangkok, illegal immigrants need to pay up to 15,000 baht.

The source said when the trucks are stopped for a check at roadblocks in Ranong no one is taken into custody. “All you have to do is show a 500 baht note and you are allowed to go,” the source said.

Police also arrested 51 illegal immigrants travelling in the cold storage compartment of a truck in October last year.

Je Ngor and the other human trafficking gangs are scattered all over Ranong province, the source said.

Whenever any gang members are arrested, they get only light sentences and resume their illegal activities once they are out of jail.

“We could say that most of them are on a blacklist, but no officials stop them operating,” the source said.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=127099

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Put an end to trafficking

Bangkok Post, Editorial, 14 April 2008

As terrible as the deaths in the Ranong people-smuggling case were, this terrible event provided only a brief glimpse of the obscene and shocking horror of human trafficking. Let there be no euphemisms in this case and thousands of others, either. What occurred along the Ranong-Phuket road late last Wednesday night has a number of root causes. But the deaths of 54 Burmese occurred because the lives of disadvantaged people are essentially bought and sold. Authorities have a turned a blind eye to the problem for too long, and action is badly needed or the death toll will mount.

According to those same authorities, they could start almost immediately, both to fight human trafficking and punish those behind the 54 murders of Burmese workers. Police in Ranong province bragged to the media last week that they know of six people deeply involved in the dirty business. Police said three men and three women in Ranong control all facets of a highly organised sale of people for labour.

One could fairly say these six people supposedly in police cross-hairs are involved in a slave trade. They organise groups of men, women and even children – a girl was among the 54 people killed – and transport them to a work site. There, they receive money from a business operator who pays the workers less than the minimum wage. Every facet of the workers’ lives is controlled.

Last week, something went wrong with this well organised and lucrative human trade. It appears the ventilation system in the container used to ship the human cargo from Ranong to Phuket broke. By the time the desperate Burmese locked in the back of the truck managed to alert the driver, the shipping container had effectively become a grim charnel house. The owner of the truck is under arrest. A reward has been offered for apprehension of the driver. Clearly, they are not the kingpins or senior figures behind this trade in human beings for profit.

The first and important villain to blame for the 54 Burmese deaths is the Burmese dictatorship. This motley and vicious regime has both impoverished the country and encouraged the flight of a million Burmese to Thailand. The desperation of Burmese is evident from the fact they are willing to work for a fraction of the Thai minimum wage. The government is right to demand that Burma‘s despots address the conditions that put citizens in such dire straits.

But the government cannot get off the hook by shifting its own blame to Burma. Not only Burmese, but Lao and Cambodian illegal immigrants are also mistreated, and even bought and sold here. In all of history in Thailand, the authorities have prosecuted exactly one human trafficking case.

The shocking murders in Ranong have put Thailand firmly in the foreign headlines as a country with a serious problem of human trafficking. It is necessary that those behind the human bondage racket in the South be arrested and prosecuted. But the government must pursue this human rights problem aggressively. Every Thai knows with pride that King Chulalongkorn the Great put an end to slavery. It is necessary to turn that edict into actual practice.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/140408_News/14Apr2008_news09.php

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm

World Focus on Burma (13-12-2007)

  1. Update: Bush promises more Burma sanctions
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    Washington (dpa) – US President George W Bush threatened further sanctions against Burma if its leaders don’t move toward democracy, saying he was “deeply …
  2. EU envoy to Myanmar to visit China and tour Asian nations
    Monsters and Critics.com, UK –
    Brussels – The European Union’s envoy to Myanmar plans to visit China next week as part of his efforts to convince Myanmar’s ruling junta to move towards ‘a …
  3. BURMA: US to step up sanctions – 13/12/2007
    Radio Australia, Australia –
    Now, Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyer has called on Australia to take the regional lead in targetting sanctions against Burma’s military. Presenter – Sen Lam Speaker …
  4. India to continue assistance to Myanmar
    Hindu, India –
    NEW DELHI: India has committed itself to extending assistance to Myanmar on various developmental projects of mutual benefit including the Kaladan …
  5. India: Life on the front-line of India’s missions
    Aid to the Church in Need (press release), Australia –
    It borders Tibet to the north, Myanmar (Burma) to the east and Assam to the south. Nagaland lies towards the southeast and Bhutan to the west. …
  6. Myanmar charges activist with “public mischief”
    Reuters UK, UK –
    Ko Htin Kyaw had already been detained four times this year for similar protests demanding better living conditions in the former Burma and criticising the …
  7. Envoy pleads for Myanmar dialogue
    CNN –

    GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) — The UN special investigator for Myanmar pleaded with the country’s military junta on Wednesday to engage in a serious dialogue …

  8. Does travel prop up paradise dictatorships?
    Toronto Star, Canada –
    And Myanmar (Burma) is back on the front pages, again raising the question of whether the international boycott on travel to Myanmar is valid. …
  9. Leading Thai politician proposes multiparty talks on Myanmar
    PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
    … but Samak said in an interview with AP Television News that as head of government he would propose multiparty talks with Myanmar, also known as Burma, …
  10. Burmese refugees need help – and a few good friends
    Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN –
    The typical refugee from Myanmar, Neil Sowards will tell you, arrives in the US carrying two suitcases and wearing flip-flops and a sarong-like garment. …
  11. Britain’s foreign secretary warns Russia damaging its world standing
    Pravda, Russia –
    Iran and Myanmar (or Burma ) are the only states where the organization is not allowed to operate. “Russia’s threats set back bilateral and multilateral …
  12. Burma’s tall tales in Geneva
    United Press International, Asia, China –
    Tourist brochures portray Burma as a mystical land full of unseen wonders and tall tales about amazing imaginary creatures, from giant serpents to magical …
  13. UNHRC should form commission to investigate in Burma: Activist
    Mizzima.com, India –
      On 31 October 2007, the Government of Myanmar has established the Investigation Body, chaired by the Minister for Home Affairs with a view to investigating …
  14. Junta refutes rumors of Than Shwe’s ill-health
    Mizzima.com, India –
      The New Light of Myanmar today carried reports and photographs of Than Shwe and several other Burmese generals inspecting hydro-projects in central Burma, …

Women of Burma: Brazen out “utter cruelty”

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Download- women-campaign-kit-22-nov-07.pdf

Source – Khin Ohnmar and Burma Digest

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2007 at 9:01 pm

World Focus on Burma (11-11-2007)

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  1. Suu Kyi Makes First Step in Reconciliation with Junta
    eFluxMedia –
    Aung Din, executive director of the US Campaign for Burma said: “I would say it is a breakthrough if she is able to meet the leadership without
  2. Foreign Office minister is ‘liability’, say his officials
    Times Online, UK –
    He has also referred to Burma as “Myanmar”, a name recognised by the UN but not by Britain and America. “Gordon won’t be brave enough to sack him.
  3. Leningrad? Peking? You Can’t Get There From Here
    Hartford Courant, United States – 4 hours ago
    … pored over the news from Sri Lanka only to realize that it was what they used to call Ceylon, and then from Myanmar, only to work out that it was Burma. …
  4. UN human rights envoy to visit Myanmar
    Xinhua, China –
    11 (Xinhua) — United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro is due to arrive here later on Sunday on a five-day visit …
  5. JA students join Memory Project
    portrait-campaign.jpgJackson Clarion Ledger, MS –
    Each student has painted a portrait of a dark-haired boy or girl from Myanmar, the country once known as Burma. “It’s part of the Memory Project developed …
  6. POLITICS-BURMA: Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release Fits Junta’s Agenda
    Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy – By Larry Jagan
    “Myanmar (Burma)… will never allow any outside interference to infringe on the sovereignty of the state,” he was quoted as saying on the state-run TV. …
  7. UN Human Rights Envoy Visits Myanmar
    The Associated Press –
    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A UN human rights envoy arrived Sunday in Myanmar on a mission to get inside the country’s prisons to determine the numbers of people …
  8. UN rights envoy in Myanmar to see junta
    AFP –
    New York-based Human Rights Watch said the UN Security Council should “redouble efforts to prod Burma’s generals into starting a genuine political dialogue …
  9. Oil’s run shifts fate of nations
    Denver Post, CO –
    Myanmar’s recent demonstrations were triggered by a government decision to raise fuel prices. In the US, the rising bill for imported petroleum lowers …
  10. UN probes human rights in Myanmar
    Aljazeera.net, Qatar –
    Meanwhile Human Rights Watch, the New York-based organization, said the UN security council should “redouble efforts to prod Burma ‘s [ Myanmar ‘s] generals ...
  11. Preventing sexual exploitation in society
    The Tide, Nigeria –
    Thailand’s neighbor to the north, Myanmar (Burma), has been under a military dictatorship for years, and its people have endured human rights abuses and a …
  12. Growing Impact of HIV/AIDS on Teenage Girls
    Media For Freedom, Nepal –
    … has estimated that as many as 50 percent of sex workers in Kenya were HIV-positive; 45 percent in Guyana; and 50 percent in Myanmar (Burma). …
  13. Burma Gets a Big Bang For The Buck
    Strategy Page –
    India has been quiet about the pro-democracy demonstrations in Burma (Myanmar), which borders India’s restive northeastern tribal areas. …
  14. 600 people gather in Tokyo calling for end of Burma dictatorship
    Japan News Review, Sweden –
    “Japan should review its official development assistance policy (to Myanmar) and consider economic sanctions,” the Rengo chief Tsuyoshi Takagi was quoted by …
  15. Draft Copy of Much-Awaited ASEAN Charter Leaked to Media
    Voice of America –
    ASEAN has been under pressure to do more to address human rights abuses, particularly in Burma. A recent crackdown on pro-democracy activists there led to …
  16. A year for Asia
    Chicago Tribune, United States –
    … resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, military repression against demonstrating monks in Myanmar (formerly Burma), the 2008 Summer Olympics in China …