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Posts Tagged ‘Irrawaddy

Restless Souls of the Irrawaddy Delta

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Restless Souls of the Irrawaddy Delta

By SAW YAN NAING Friday, January 2, 2009

A chilling sound reverberates these nights through many of the villages of the cyclone-devastated Irrawaddy delta—the metallic clang of an iron bar beaten by soldiers to drive away the spirits of the drowned that many believe roam through the region.

Soldiers stationed in Laputta Township said they had been assigned to strike iron bars after dark to reassure villagers who claim they are seeing the ghosts of people who died in Cyclone Nargis.

A typical scene of destruction in the Irrawaddy delta (Photo: AFP)

Burmese Buddhists traditionally hold two religious ceremonies—Yat Lae Hsun and Thet Pyauk Hsun—to ensure the release of the souls of deceased family members.Mass ceremonies were held for the thousands who died in Cyclone Nargis—yet villagers in many part of the devastated delta claim seeing the restless ghosts of cyclone victims.

“Villagers told me they heard ghosts shouting almost every night around midnight,” said a visitor to Laputta Township.

She said that during her stay in one village people claimed they were being visited by the spirits of dead relatives and friends asking for help.

A report on the Web site of The Seattle Times, quoted a 30-year-old Laputta woman who described how she had seen her dead husband.

He appeared to her one evening as a blurry image on the path he had normally taken home from work, she said. The image waved to her.

“The hair on my arms stood up at once,” she was quoted as saying. “That’s my husband.”

The Web site said the woman wiped away her tears as she said: “I could only go to a monk to save his soul so his next life will be a good one.”

Even soldiers assigned to reassure nervous villagers are reporting strange encounters.

One, attached to the 66th Light Infantry Division, said he heard a woman’s voice crying: “Help me, please, help me… I’m here, Ko Pe Than!”

Another said he heard the voice of a girl who died in the storm cry out: “Mother, I’m here! Please, help me!”

Soldiers report seeing mysterious lights flashing and hearing voices around the isolated seaside village of Konegyi.

The “ghost sightings” are attributed by some NGO workers and medical personnel working in the delta to the mental trauma suffered by cyclone survivors, who lacked proper post-disaster counseling.

One inhabitant of Mondinelay village, in Bogalay Township, one of the hardest-hit areas, said: “In the evening, if there is a heavy wind or rain, some people start crying, while others begin laughing. They are like mad people.”

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group |


–>NB. This post is specially for those who cannot visit the Irrawaddy website.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Irrawaddy / Khit Pyaing: website URL for temporary use

Dear Irrawaddy readers

We regret to inform you that the Irrawaddy Web site has been disabled since yesterday due to an attack that has also targeted a number of other exiled Burmese media groups.

This afternoon, our technical staff confirmed that our IP address has been blocked by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Our technicians are now working to fix the problem.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the monk-led uprising known as the “Saffron Revolution.” We have received reports that Internet speeds in Burma have been very slow since yesterday, suggesting that there has been a concerted effort to prevent information from going into or out of the country.

We hope to be able to restore full service as soon as possible and will keep you informed of any further developments.

The Irrawaddy

* is a mirror site of


From Khit Pyaing to readers,

Dear readers: Here’s the temporary Khitpyaing Blog as the original site in still under maintenance. However, we will keep you informed when the original site is up and running. Sorry for the convenience.


Websites of three Burmese news agencies in exile under attack



Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:02

Chiang Mai – The websites of three Burmese news agencies in exile – the Democratic Voice of Burma, The Irrawaddy and the New Era Journal – almost simultaneously have come under persistent and severe Distributed Denial of Services attack, leading to the websites becoming inaccessible since Wednesday afternoon.

DDoS attacks flooded the communication channel of web servers with data to an extent that the sites could no longer handle it. The attack is a blatant attempt to disable websites, by overwhelming the sites with information requests so that it cannot respond to regular traffic.

Surfers said the websites of the three Burmese news agencies had failed to respond to their request since Wednesday afternoon.

“It is pretty certain that we are under attack. We have been attacked at about 11 a.m. today,” Toe Zaw Latt, chief of DVB Thailand bureau told Mizzima.

Similarly, the Chiang Mai based ‘The Irrawaddy’ said its website has been facing problems since Tuesday evening.

“But technically, we could confirm it only today that we are being attacked,” Aung Zaw, Editor-In-chief of ‘The Irrawaddy’ told Mizzima.

The Bangkok based ‘New Era Journal’ also confirmed that its website had been facing an attack where surfers were unable to access the site.

The attack is the second for the Oslo based DVB in the past three months, after its website was down for several days due to a similar attack in July.

In July the Burmese website of Mizzima News, another Burmese news agency based in New Delhi, India, also suffered a similar DDoS attack.

The webmaster of the DVB said, it is difficult to determine the level of the attack and it is also difficult to predict when the sites will be accessible again.

“Though we do not know who is behind the attack, it is certain that the attacks are targeted,” Toe Zaw Latt said.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 18, 2008 at 1:51 am

Weeks After Cyclone in Myanmar, Even Farmers Wait for Food

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Published: May 26, 2008

The New York Times

On a road near Pyapon, in an area of Myanmar ravaged by a cyclone, people waited on Sunday for aid from Burmese civilians.

PYAPON, Myanmar — The roads of the ravaged Irrawaddy Delta are lined these days with people hoping to be fed.

After lifetimes living off the land, poor farmers have abandoned their ruined rice paddies, setting up makeshift bamboo shelters, waiting for carloads of Burmese civilians who have taken it on themselves to feed those who lost everything to Cyclone Nargis.

Few of those who wait say they have received anything from the government, other than threats.

“They said if we don’t break our huts and disappear, they will shoot us,” one man in the village of Thee Kone said over the weekend before a police jeep approached. “But as you can see, it’s raining now. We are pleading to the police to give us one more day and we will be gone far, far from the road, as they wish.”

A red sign on a stake along one road read: “Don’t throw food on the roads. It ruins the people’s good habits.”

On Sunday, donors from more than 50 countries and international agencies meeting in Yangon promised they would deliver more than $150 million in aid to help the country recover from the May 3 storm, The Associated Press reported, but only if they could get access to hard-hit areas like the delta. It remained unclear if Myanmar’s rulers were willing to meet that demand.

At the donor conference, Lt. Gen. Thein Sein, Myanmar’s prime minister, said that international aid was welcome, “provided that there are no strings attached,” according to news agencies that were allowed to send reporters to the meeting.

The conference also made clear a gap remained between the views of the government and the donors on what Myanmar needed most urgently.

The government, which insists that the emergency phase of the disaster is over, showed a video suggesting the country had enough rice, and that what it needed instead was billions of dollars for long-term reconstruction. Some analysts fear that the focus on rebuilding is a ploy.

“I believe they just want to use it for their ordinary activity, put it into their accounts and use it to buy weapons or houses or whatever they would like to do,” Josef Silverstein, an expert on Myanmar with Rutgers University, said in a recent interview.

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said he believed that short-term help was a priority, with hundreds of thousands left homeless and aid reaching only a fraction of those who needed it. “The needs remain acute,” Mr. Ban said Sunday, “from clean water and sanitation to shelter, medical supplies and food.”

The breadth of those needs was evident during a trip on Friday and Saturday to the delta, the area most devastated by the storm, which left at least 134,000 people dead or missing. It also ruined rice fields and destroyed stocks of rice in flooding that followed.

Villagers in the region, which previously provided much of the rice for the country of 48 million, now squat along miles of roads, holding out bowls to the occasional passing cars bringing food and other supplies. Children keep a vigil, rushing to the vehicles for handouts, sometimes thrusting their arms inside the cars’ windows.

“I don’t know how the government is helping us,” said Ko Htay Oo, 40, in Kungyangon, a delta town 30 miles south of Yangon, Myanmar’s main city. He said the only aid he had seen was delivered by other Burmese citizens.

“I am no beggar, so I didn’t eat anything in the past two days,” he said, leaning against a roadside palm tree. “Besides, you shouldn’t compete with kids for begged food.”

Those who have gotten government help say it is not nearly enough.

U Min Lwin, 37, said his family had received a government ration only twice in the three weeks since the storm; each time they were given seven cups of rice.

A 51-year-old woman who gave her name as San said she recently received potatoes and a small amount of beans from the government but had no stove for cooking them.

Some people have been given government-issued tents, but the tents can accommodate only a small fraction of those left homeless.

In the village of Thee Kone near Pyapon, a major town in the delta, victims said that the village had received four tents that house 20 people each. Any family lucky enough to find tent space had received 16 cups of rice in the past week, a little more than two cups a day.

“There are many other families who want to move into the tents, but there is not enough space,” said the villager who spoke of the police intimidation. “So people complain. They complain not to the government or to the village administrator, but to each other, arguing, ‘Why are you in the tent and I am not?’ ”

He and others had built their own shelters by the road, but it was unclear where they would go after the police told them to leave Friday.

Those and other makeshift dwellings that have popped up on the roadsides are barely sufficient to shield people from the searing morning sun or the monsoon rains that sweep in to drench the area most afternoons.

Many of those who moved to the roadsides are the poorest of Burmese farmers, those who rent rice paddies from landlords. Before the storm, they traveled with their buffaloes, ducks and pigs from field to field, living in huts beside their paddies.

Now, as before, they live next to their source of food, with whatever little they were able to salvage from the wall of water that smashed into many parts of the delta.

One man found shelter in a large bamboo basket he had salvaged from the floodwater. Another lived in a tent built with a plastic Tiger Beer advertising banner that a truck driver had thrown to him. Pigs are tied to roadside palm trees. Ducks swim in the nearby ditches.

The roads are littered with plastic trash from the packaging of donated food.

“I have no dish, no cup, no blanket, no pillow. I have received nothing from the government,” said Daw San Mar Oo, 31, a farmer in a hamlet near Dedaye. “I have nothing in my hands.”

Still, the government continues to make it difficult for those wishing to offer private charity. Police officers armed with rifles stopped cars at checkpoints on Friday and Saturday. Foreigners without government permits to enter the disaster zone were turned back after their passports were copied. Those Burmese who were allowed to pass through were given a warning: Any donation, a yellow handout notice said, must be distributed through village leaders allied with the government.

In Pyapon, a commercial hub renowned for its “hpaya” grass mats, people maintained a semblance of traditional Burmese hospitality despite the disaster. When outside visitors asked for directions at dusk, a man offered them food and lodging at his home.

Pyapon, a trading center for rice, dried fish and fish paste, is the hometown of many rich Burmese tradesmen. But in this town, too, tales of horror were told, over evening tea.

“Dead bodies floating down the Pyapon River are no longer strangers to us,” said Daw Khin Kyi, a resident. “Some of these bodies still wear gold necklaces and bracelets, so some people went out to collect them in the first few days. But now, after many days, nobody goes near. Fish are nibbling at the bodies.”

Ma Ye Ye Tan, a 17-year-old from a hamlet down the river, survived the cyclone. She had arrived at the home of a Pyapon relative several days after the cyclone with virtually nothing on, shivering in monsoon rain.

Now, she said, she did want to go back to her village, which is filled with death. She is not sure what happened to her parents.

“After the cyclone came and went, we continued to hear people shouting in the darkness, but when village men went to search for them, they could find no one,” she said. “We think they are ghosts shouting. I am afraid of ghosts.”

Seth Mydans contributed reporting from Bangkok.

The New York Times

The Irrawaddy Delta provided much of Myanmar’s rice.

Times Topics: Myanmar | Cyclone Nargis


Myanmar Diverts French Warship Carrying Aid (May 27, 2008)

Times Topics: Myanmar | Cyclone Nargis

Lisandru/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Children from an isolated Irrawaddy Delta village, which is accessible only by boat, waiting on Friday to receive donated food.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 26, 2008 at 8:13 am

World Focus on Burma (29 Jan 08)

  1. Myanmar junta charges leading protesters
    Reuters UK, UK –

    The 10, most of whom were leaders of a 1988 student-led uprising suppressed bloodily by the army, are accused of violating the former Burma’s Printing and …

  2. European Union’s special envoy for Myanmar seeks Asian cooperation
    Earthtimes, UK –
    Bangkok – The European Union’s special envoy for Myanmar on Tuesday stressed the need for close cooperation with Asian governments in speeding up a solution …
  3. ASEAN rights execs meet on framework of regional body, Philippines –
    Rights groups have cautiously welcomed the move, but stressed that time was running out to reverse abuses in rogue state Myanmar, which continues to detain …
  4. Federal probe of stolen art goes national
    Los Angeles Times, CA –
    “Passion for Form: Selections of Southeast Asian Art from the MacLean Collection” contains 53 of his best objects from Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, …
  5. Stallone: Time right for another ‘Rambo’
    Detroit Free Press, United States –
    “Rambo,” the fourth in the series that began in 1982, takes place in present-day, war-torn Burma (called Myanmar by its current government), …
  6. EU envoy calls for release of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
    AFP –

    BANGKOK (AFP) — The EU’s special envoy for Myanmar on Tuesday urged the country’s military regime to free democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as he kicked off …

  7. Myanmar migrants fear worst from new Thai government
    Swissinfo, Switzerland –
    So, hopefully, the TRT-influenced PPP will take migration issues into account,” said Myint Wai of the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma.
  8. Sylvester Stallone is set to make a fifth ‘Rambo’ movie
    The Cheers, Estonia –
    The film, which Stallone directs and stars in, sees Rambo taking a group of mercenaries into war torn Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, in search of missing …
  9. Irrawaddy Dam Construction Begins, Human Rights Abuses Begin
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    The Burmese state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, reported in May 2007 that seven hydropower projects on the Irrawaddy River had been designed to …
  10. Myanmar Times CEO Supports Regime’s “Road Map”
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    By Wai Moe Burma’s English language weekly newspaper, The Myanmar Times, threw its support unequivocally behind the regime’s seven-point “road map” in a …
  11. EU urges new govt to promote democracy in Burma
    Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
    “The EU wants to cooperate with Thailand’s government to promote a positive solution in Burma,” said Piero Fassino, EU Special Envoy to Burma. …
  12. EU wants Thai help to pro¬mote democracy in Burma
    Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
    “The EU wants to cooperate with Thailand’s government to promote a positive solution in Burma,” said Piero Fassino, EU Special Envoy to Burma. …
  13. Blogger detained amid increased surveillance of Internet; more …
    Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –
    On 21 January, Mizzima reported that, the most popular blog provider to users inside Burma, has been completely blocked after Myanmar Post and …
  14. Myanmar frees four Indians
    | IMPHAL: Myanmar authorities have released four Indian nationals who were arrested six months ago for entering the neighbouring country without valid documents, official sources said on Monday. | They were han…
  15. Man of War
    | Rambo is back – bigger and bloodier. | By Peter Suderman | You can learn everything you need to know about from the title. It’s short, simple, and blunt. There are no Roman numerals, no colons, no hokey subti..

World Focus on Burma (9-12-2007)

  1. Burundi and Myanmar reported to Security Council over child …
    Asian Tribune, Thailand –
    New York, 08 December, ( “The issue of recruitment and use of children continues to be a problem in Myanmar both with regard to the …
  2. All The News Deemed Unfit To Print
    CBS News, NY –
    … the ruling junta and thousands were being killed, Aung Zaw, disguised as a monk, escaped through the land-mined jungles of Burma (Myanmar) to Thailand. …
  3. Marines and academics join over foreign relations
    Los Angeles Times, CA –
    asked Gourevitch, a reference to the recent deadly clash between protesters and the authoritarian government in the nation also known as Burma. …
    Philadelphia Inquirer, PA –
    … for meetings about things we can do to alert the school and the rest of the world about Aung San Suu Kyi and the human rights crisis in Burma (Myanmar). …
  5. Exiles try to keep pressure on Burmese rulers
    Boston Globe, United States –
    … with Western countries to stiffen economic sanctions and to donate cash to support political activity inside Burma, which the generals call Myanmar. …
  6. A former rebel’s grief
    Toronto Star, Canada –
    (In the wake of the crackdown on September’s monk-led pro-democracy protests, Canada further tightened sanctions against Burma, also known as Myanmar. …
  7. Agenda of the General Affairs and External Relations Council …
    During its external relations session, the Council will address Economic Partnership Agreements (epas) and will review the situation in Burma/Myanmar, …
  8. Merkle: Mugabe trampling human rights
    United Press International –
    Merkle singled out Zimbabwe, Sudan, Belarus, and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, as guilty of bad governance and human rights abuses, Britain’s Telegraph …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 9, 2007 at 1:04 am

World Focus on Burma (21-11-2007)

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  1. Than Shwe: the man in the iron mask
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    By AUNG ZAW In order to see positive political change in Burma it’s clearly necessary to understand the psyche of Than Shwe and his men. …
  2. Activists: Thai firms must halt investments
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    Environmentalists have called on two SET-listed companies to halt their investments in Burma, saying they only serve to fatten the junta’s purse while …
  3. Burma is the unexpected victor at summit
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    By RUTH YOUNGBLOOD Singapore _ The signing of the Asean Charter, long anticipated as a moment of triumph, turned out to be a face-saving occasion with Burma …
  4. UN chief lauds Asean democracy, human rights
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    The 10-nation Asean met in Singapore in the wake of pro-democracy demonstrations in Burma, one of the members. Burma pledged, however, to abide by the human …
  5. In Singapore, Burma activists keep within the law
    Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
    About 40 Burma nationals were having coffee at the Starbucks cafe at Orchard Parade Hotel, or standing around nearby. As the clock struck 7pm Tuesday night, …
  6. Activists attack Asean over inaction on Burma, United Kingdom –
    By Thomas Bell in Singapore Burma’s neighbours were accused of hypocrisy as they announced a new charter on human rights yesterday while failing to pressure ...
  7. TRANSCRIPT: Charles Gibson Interviews President George W. Bush and …
    ABC News –
    Why is Myanmar and different than Pakistan? FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH: Well, that isn’t my … I can’t answer that. I can talk to you about Burma, because that’s …
  8. ASEAN leaders adopt criticized charter, establish human rights body
    JURIST –
    Critics have also been skeptical of allowing military-ruled Myanmar to join the charter [JURIST report], citing the country’s poor human rights record. …
  9. Dissent but no discord as Arroyo raises doubts
    TODAYonline, Singapore –
    THE glittering ceremony went ahead without a glitch as all 10 leaders of the Association of South-east Asian Nations, including Myanmar’s, inked the Asean …
  10. PGMA reiterates need for democratic reforms in Myanmar, UK –
    Among the topics discussed was the issue of democratic reforms in Myanmar after its political junta cracked down on pro-democracy protesters there two …
  11. UN envoy meets Arroyo, other leaders, Philippines –
    By Norman Bordadora, Tetch Torres SINGAPORE – United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s address on Burma (Myanmar) to Asian leaders was canceled abruptly, …
  12. KP Yohannan, the quiet revolutionary
    Journal Chrétien, France –
    His 16500 native missionaries are based in10 countries that include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal and India. …
  13. UN’s Myanmar envoy holds talks with regional leaders in Singapore
    UN News Centre –
    20 November 2007 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Myanmar is in Singapore, where he is meeting with various regional leaders taking part …
  14. Take emotion out of view to give Burma a chance
    The Canberra Times, Australia –
    Many observers would ask why the world should care about Burma, notwithstanding the widespread sense of moral outrage prompted by the military regime’s …
  15. UN rights panel rebukes Myanmar, Iran, North Korea
    Reuters South Africa, South Africa –
    Another resolution strongly condemning the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was passed by 88-24, …
  16. UN condemns Burmese rights violations
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    New York (dpa) – The UN General Assembly’s human-rights committee adopted a resolution Tuesday condemning Burma’s use of force against peaceful …
  17. UN panel slams Myanmar crackdown on protests
    AFP –
    But Myanmar’s UN envoy Kyaw Tint Swe immediately brushed off the vote of censure saying: “We are not surprised by the result of the vote nor are we …
  18. UN envoy ‘disappointed’ over cancelled Myanmar briefing
    Tehran Times, Iran –
    SINGAPORE (AFP) — The United Nations special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, said Tuesday he was disappointed”” by the decision to cancel his briefing …
  19. Adoption of landmark ASEAN Charter overshadowed by lack of …
    International Herald Tribune, France –
    AP SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian leaders signed a landmark charter to promote free trade and human rights, but troublesome neighbor Myanmar undercut their …
  20. Abdullah: Charter will be a boon for SE Asia
    New Straits Times, Malaysia –
    By Wan Hamidi Hamid SINGAPORE: Despite pressure from the United States and European Union as well as human rights organisations over Myanmar’s military rule …
  21. Myanmar cloud could complicate FTA with ASEAN
    National Business Review, New Zealand –
    The Philippines, an ASEAN member, has warned that its parliament will not ratify the bloc’s new charter unless Burma shows that it is committed to returning …
  22. Burma warned over ASEAN charter
    Tehran Times, Iran –
    Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has said her country is unlikely to sign a new ASEAN charter unless Burma frees the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. …
  23. Charter of ASEAN endorsed
    Xinhua, China –
    BEIJING, Nov. 21 — Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have endorsed the Charter of ASEAN in Singapore. .
  24. Downer Wants `Dialogue and Success’ on Myanmar (Update1)
    Bloomberg –
    “Action means dialogue of substance that leads to constitutional reforms in Burma.” Myanmar, which has been ruled by the junta for 45 years, ..
  25. Historic ASEAN Charter Signed []
    RTT News, NY –
    The charter signing was conducted amid criticism over the absence of any real authority to enforce the rules – especially with member Myanmar, ..
  26. Gambari says UN can ‘make a difference’ in Myanmar
    Earthtimes, UK –
    Singapore – The United Nations can “make a difference” in Myanmar, where others have failed, with the support of East Asian countries and the international …
  27. India tells Myanmar to intensify reforms
    Assam Tribune, India –
    SINGAPORE, Nov 20 – India refrained from adopting a tough position on the military crackdown in Myanmar urging the neighbouring country to opt for a broad …
  28. Burma’s Big Break
    Wall Street Journal –
    At a summit in Singapore the 10-member group kept Burma’s junta in its fold while simultaneously inking a charter to strengthen its enforcement of human …
  29. ASEAN rights body told to protect members from foreign interference
    Hindu, India –
    Its recommendations confirm that the human rights agency would be a toothless body with no power to rein in blatant violators such as Myanmar. …
  30. LABOUR: ASEAN Charter Skirts Rights For Migrant Workers
    Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –
    “Burma (Myanmar) is getting special attention and it is deflecting the broader issue of human rights in the region,” added Jenina Joy Chavez, …
  31. UN’s Envoy Tells Myanmar to Speed Talks With Suu Kyi (Update2)
    Bloomberg –
    Calls for penalties on Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, have increased after General Than Shwe’s regime cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators in …
  32. East Asian leaders focus on emissions, free trade
    Reuters –
    … Myanmar opposed that and Gambari is talking to individual delegations instead. “Progress on Burma…has been as slow as glue up a hill,” said Downer. …
  33. UN Committee Approves Myanmar Resolution
    FOX News –
    Myanmar, also known as Burma, tried to block a vote on the draft resolution, proposing a motion of “no action” instead. It was defeated by a vote of 88 …
  34. Myanmar “Welcome” for Korean hits
    Variety Asia, Hong Kong –
    HONG KONG – Military crackdown notwithstanding, Myanmar (Burma) is to hold a festival of South Korean films at the end of the month (Nov 30 – Dec 4). …
  35. un’s Envoy Tells Myanmar to Speed Talks With Suu Kyi (Update3)
    Bloomberg –
    Calls for penalties on Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, increased after General Than Shwe’s regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in September, …
  36. East Asian leaders pledge emissions cuts
    Guardian Unlimited, UK –
    … Myanmar opposed that and Gambari is talking to individual delegations instead. “Progress on Burma…has been as slow as glue up a hill,” said Downer. …
  37. China’s power — and will — to push for change in Myanmar limited …
    International Herald Tribune, France –
    … the isolated country, also known as Burma. The sticky issue of Myanmar is often a hot topic at meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. …
  38. Bucking a global trend
    Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica –
    … Myanmar (Burma), Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Mauritania, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Quatar, Brunei, Egypt and Indonesia.
  39. UN-doing Human Rights
    FrontPage, CA –
    The two notable positive actions by the Council on human rights violations resulted from two special sessions–one on Sudan and the other on Burma. …
  40. Laura Bush supports boycott of rubies, gems from Myanmar
    Corpus Christi Caller Times, TX – Editorial
    The military junta that rules over the nation once known as Burma has routinely used the truncheon and the bullet to crush any opposition. …
  41. Myanmar envoy wants stronger role, Qatar –
    The United Nations special envoy to Myanmar has said he wants to see his role “beefed up” to increase its chances of success. Ibrahim Gambari, who has gone …
  42. Gambari: UN can make a difference in Burma
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    Gambari said his dialogues with Burma will “have timelines.” “We want democracy and a stable and prosperous Myanmar,” he said, using the military regime’s …
  43. UN special envoy to go to Burma again
    Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
    United Nations special envoy for Burma affairs Ibrahim Gambari said Wednesday he would make his next visit to the military ruled country before the end of …
  44. Asean’s common charter, a triumph of “modest expectations”, Italy –
    Myanmar also voted in favour of the charter, a country well known for its systematic violation of freedom and fundamental rights. The Charter which now must …
  45. Activists Defy Protest Ban At ASEAN Summit In Singapore
    AHN –
    The third protest at 7 pm (11 am GMT) on Tuesday came from 40 Myanmar citizens, who carried a large banner with the words “Listen to Burma’s Desires, …
  46. Myanmar nationals continue to press for change months after …
    Channel News Asia, Singapore –
    A “peace concert for Burma” was held at Singapore Substation. More than 60 people turned up to show their support. It was an overwhelming show of support by …
  47. Philippine President Rebukes Burma
    TIME –
    (SINGAPORE) — The president of the Philippines took a parting shot at Burma’s junta Wednesday, deploring the pace of democratic reforms in the Southeast …
  48. Myanmar faces calls for Suu Kyi release
    France24, France –
    “It’s very important that there is real and genuine progress… in Burma,” he said, referring to Myanmar by its former name. “Professor Gambari thinks he’s …
  49. Burma’s Forest Shrinking
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    “In misgoverned Asian countries, like Myanmar [Burma] and Cambodia, there are impressive conservation laws on paper, but in practice illegal logging, …
  50. HIV/AIDS Down in Some Asian Countries but Rising in Others, Says …
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    The report said that Burma’s HIV epidemic “is also showing signs of a decline,” though was still a matter for concern. Indonesia and Vietnam are two …
  51. Arroyo Takes Parting Shot at Burma with Strong Criticism
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    We … remain concerned about the pace of progress of Myanmar [Burma] on the issue of human rights,” President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said. …
  52. Gambari Says Burma Has Made Slow Progress
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    Qin also insisted that there have been positive developments in Burma, but he declined to elaborate. “Just compare the situation now in Myanmar with a month …
  53. Gambari Should Brief Asean: Ban Ki-moon
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    … Ban said: “It would have been desirable and better for Gambari to report and brief Asean leaders on the situation in Myanmar [Burma]. …
  54. ASEAN: human rights in the Charter and beyond, New Zealand –
    The current crisis in Myanmar, which is in fact a continuation of decades of serious human rights violations, some of which constitute crimes against …
  55. 21 – PGMA returns to RP with mixed emotions, UK –
    Also during the Summit, the President held bilateral talks with several of the member-nations, notably Myanmar whose military-backed junta came under …
  56. Philippine Calls Myanmar Junta ‘Forces Of Authoritarianism’
    AHN –
    Singapore (AHN) – The Philippines issues its strongest condemnation of Myanmar Wednesday calling its military leaders “forces of authoritarianism,” and at …
  57. AP Exclusive: ASEAN human rights body told to protect members from … (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
    … also known as Burma. Myanmar sparked global anger in September when the nation’s military leaders crushed pro-democracy protests lead by Buddhist monks, ..
  58. Asian leaders reject calls for Myanmar sanctions
    Forbes, NY –
    … brief the Asian leaders on the situation in the former Burma — forcing ASEAN into an embarrassing last-minute cancellation. But Lee described …
  59. POLITICS: ASEAN Family Gets ‘Protective’ About Burma
    Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –
    ASEAN leaders’ views on Burma, also known as Myanmar, removed all doubts as to whose interests the governments have in mind when they talk about regional …
  60. New Southeast Asian Human Rights Body Likely to Keep Hands Off Burma
    Voice of America –
    But an internal document shows the organization is more likely to protect its members – including Burma – from outside interference on human rights matters. …
  61. UN Special Envoy to Burma Wants Stronger Role to Resolve Crisis
    Voice of America –
    By VOA News The United Nations special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, is telling Asian leaders that his role in helping resolve Burma’s political crisis …
  62. ASEAN summit in S’pore achieves significant steps forward: PM Lee
    Channel News Asia, Singapore –
    The Myanmar issue has also taken centre stage in this summit. ASEAN has made its position clear on the issue that Myanmar cannot go back to the status quo. …
  63. ASEAN summit in S’pore achieves significant steps forward: PM Lee
    Channel News Asia, Singapore –
    The Myanmar issue has also taken centre stage in this summit. ASEAN has made its position clear on the issue that Myanmar cannot go back to the status quo. ..
  64. ASEAN, Japan conclude negotiations for partnership agreement
    Xinhua, China –
    SINGAPORE, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — The heads of state or government of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan gathered …
  65. Asia.view Realpolitik rules
    Economist, UK –
    Take its reaction to recent events in Myanmar and Pakistan. When General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan imposed, in effect, martial law on November 3rd, …
  66. ASEAN statement on Burma met with criticism
    Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
    Teresa Kok of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus said that ASEAN leaders were not taking a strong enough stand on Burma, and needed to hear from …
  67. Junta releases demonstrators but only so that they can die at home, Italy –
    … who has pledged to work on behalf of all groups in Myanmar, including ethnic minorities. According to the Democratic Voice of Burma, the military are in …
  68. Gem sales continue despite calls for boycott
    Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
    Nov 21, 2007 (DVB)–A Burmese gem auction at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Mayangon township, Rangoon, has attracted 3596 local and international …
  69. Downer hits ASEAN silence over Burma
    The Australian, Australia –
    AUSTRALIA yesterday lashed out at Burma’s sabotage of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s planned briefing for ASEAN and East Asia Summit leaders on any moves by the …
  70. EU backs ‘carrot and stick’ approach towards Myanmar
    Reuters –
    By Jan Dahinten SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The European Union wants to keep up the pressure on military-ruled Myanmar to bring about democratic reforms and …
  71. Japan pledges Asia aid to fight climate change
    Citizen, South Africa –
    Pollution hovers over eastern Beijing’s developing skyline. Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has pledged a two-billion-dollar aid package to help …
  72. POLITICAL TIDBITS Baby steps for Burma, Philippines –
    By Belinda Olivares-Cunanan It looks like the 10-nation ASEAN has decided in Singapore to treat Burma (Myanmar) like a baby learning to take small steps, …
  73. Clark leaves UN talks confident of progress in Myanmar, New Zealand –
    Prime Minister Helen Clark has completed talks with the United Nations special envoy to Myanmar confident progress can be made in the repressive and …
  74. China leaning on Myanmar: PM
    New Zealand Herald, New Zealand –
    Photo / AP Prime Minister Helen Clark is confident China will use its diplomatic muscle to pressure Myanmar to engage with the United Nations. …
  75. Southeast Asian nations split over treatment of Burma
    Christian Science Monitor, MA –
    By Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar Divisions over Burma (Myanmar) overshadowed the 40th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, …

World Focus on Burma (16-11-2007)

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  1. HRW to Asean: Set Timetable for Human Rights Mechanism
    Pinoy Press, Philippines –
    We also urge ASEAN members to use the opportunity of signing the Charter to pressure the military junta of Burma to end abuses and to embark on serious, …
  2. Gem buyers back away from Myanmar
    Marketplace, CA –
    The generals who run Burma’s military junta also control a company known as Myanmar Gem Enterprise, whose sales of precious stones bring nearly $300 million
  3. Gem dealers push to ban Myanmar rubies after bloody crackdown has … (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
    «The sale of these gems gives Burma’s military rulers quick cash to stay in power.» Myanmar is also called Burma. The ruby trade certainly puts money in the …
  4. Finding hope for Burma
    Calvin College – Chimes, MI –
    By Katie Sytsema & Emma Slager Monday night’s concert in the Fish House to raise hope and awareness for the crisis in Burma (aka Myanmar) was considered to …
  5. A False Dawn in Burma
    TIME –
    Compared to its usual benighted state, recent events in Burma appear to offer a glimmer of hope. On his return from a six-day visit, United Nations special …
  6. Extra security for Singapore summit of ASEAN leaders
    Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates –
    Public demonstrations against Myanmar have flared elsewhere, but police said only one request was made by a Singapore group to have ‘an assembly’ in front …
  7. BURMA: Picture of Normalcy Presented to UN Envoy
    Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –
    For the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), as the junta is officially known, had banned the UN envoy from visiting Burma, also known as Myanmar, …
  8. It’s No Longer ‘Content Is King’ But Instead ‘Ownership Is King’ (subscription), Switzerland –
    On several breaking news events such as the demonstrations in Burma (Myanmar) CNN was extensively quoting, available to everyone for free on the …
  9. Signs of Slump at Gem Sale in Myanmar
    New York Times, United States –
    … gemstones has dented dealers’ confidence, which could prove a serious problem for the junta that has ruled Myanmar, formerly Burma, for 18 years. …
  10. Myanmar’s ruling generals feint at dialogue
    Peninsula On-line, Qatar –
    One of them, a leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance who operates under the pseudonym U Gambira, wrote an article that was published on The Post op-ed page …
  11. Democracy activists urge ASEAN not to allow Myanmar to sign charter
    Monsters and, UK –
    ASEAN members are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma). …
  12. Myanmar frees six political prisoners
    Washington Post, United States –
    YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta has freed six prisoners of conscience including Thet Naung Soe, a student sentenced to 14 years in jail for staging a …
  13. UN envoy ‘knows Burma death toll’
    ic Wales, United Kingdom –
    A United Nations investigator said today his five-day mission to Burma had enabled him to determine the number of people killed and detained in the …
  14. Irrawaddy River dam to make thousands homeless, destroy ecology
    Merinews, India –
    A dam, one of seven to be constructed on the Irrawaddy River by China and Burma, threatens to displace 10000 people and wash away nearly 47 villages. …
  15. Burma to release inmates for King’s birthday
    Bangkok Post, Thailand –
    The reaction of this neighbouring country is considered a good sign for a strong relationship between the Thai and Myanmar armies, he added. …
  16. Star diplomats
    Waterloo Record, Canada –
    … like debt relief, human rights, fair trade and disease, to the territorial, such as the crisis in Darfur and oppression in Myanmar (Burma). …
  17. US trade representative to discuss trade, Myanmar, with Southeast …
    International Herald Tribune, France –
    Myanmar is also known as Burma. When Schwab signed the TIFA in August last year with economic ministers of the group, she made it clear that Washington …
  18. US trade official to underscore Myanmar concerns
    AFP –
    She will also use the meetings “to underscore US concerns about the situation in Burma and its failure to make a serious commitment to a meaningful and …
  19. Weekly Business Roundup (November 16, 2007)
    The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
    The project involved shipping parts and equipment to Burma in 2002 to build a weapons factory in Pyay—in violation of South Korean law. …
  20. UN holds false hope for Myanmar
    Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –
    A few days before the arrest of Su Su Nway, U Gambira, a Buddhist monk and leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance, was also apprehended. …
  21. At least 15 killed in Myanmar’s September crackdown
    Monsters and, UK –
    ‘The number of the casualties that the government of Myanmar is giving is 14,’ Pinheiro told a press conference in Bangkok after spending five-days in …
  22. Myanmar junta raises crackdown toll to 15: UN
    Reuters –
    The former Burma’s official media have so far put the death toll at 10, although Western governments say the real figure is likely to be far higher. …
  23. Junta ‘accepts higher Burma toll’
    BBC News, UK –
    “There are a lot of challenges in Myanmar [Burma] concerning the implementation of basic human rights principles,” he said. “But I was happy to see some …
  24. Burma High on Agenda as Southeast Asian Leaders Gather for Summit
    Voice of America –
    However, Roshan Jason, director of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, says some ASEAN members have continued to strengthen economic ties with the …
  25. Asean: Promises, controversies and benefits
    TODAYonline, Singapore –
    There are promises of an Asean Charter, controversies over Myanmar and of course, there will be the signature photo of leaders in a line, holding hands, …
  26. ASEAN Plan for Rights Charter Highlights Gulf Between Rhetoric and …
    World Politics Review –
    BANGKOK, Thailand — Refugees from the horrors of Burma face legal limbo and police harassment inside Thailand. Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia …
  27. East Asia Summit in S’pore may issue Myanmar statement
    Channel News Asia, Singapore –
    Mr Yeo said the statement would also support the process of national reconciliation and call on the Myanmar government to give a deadline to achieve …
  28. Junta pursues its media campaign against Aung San Suu Kyi and …, Italy –
    Yangon (asianews) – Mixed signals are coming from Myanmar. The military regime is showing some signs of openness towards the United Nations and the …
  29. Weather News: Weather Blog
    Weather Channel –
    Also, coastlines of western Myanmar (formerly Burma) and eastern mainland India contract the Bay of Bengal from wide to the south to narrow at the north end …
  30. Bush cites progress in nuclear talks with North Korea, praises … (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
    On Myanmar, also known as Burma, Bush said he and Fukuda «call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners. …
  31. Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan …
    Business Wire (press release), CA –
    We discussed Burma. The Prime Minister and I condemned the regime’s crackdown on democratic activists. We call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 16, 2007 at 4:56 am