Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Naypyidaw

World focus on Burma (23 December 2008)

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Ethnic militia accuses junta of forcing opium cultivation
Mizzima.com, India –
… fields in Mongsert and Mongtong area now,” said Khammwe, referring the Burmese junta by its official name – the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Korean Government Rejects OECD Complaint Against Daewoo …
Earthrights.org, DC –
Moreover, the MKE opined that the general situation in Burma and specifically around the Shwe Project does not merit an investigation or arbitration between ..

TOR of Asean rights body done by July
Business Mirror, Philippines –
… atrocities against nationals of Asean members, including those being committed by the military junta in Burma, which the dictators are calling Myanmar. …

Health situation in Burma among top 10 worst humanitarian crises …
Independent Mon News Agency, WA –
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has included Burma in its 11th annual list of the world’s “Top Ten” humanitarian crises 2008, says a press released published …

Than Shwe and team to tour cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta
Mizzima.com, India –
A source in Naypyitaw, Burma’s new jungle capital, said Than Shwe along with a team comprising Thura Shwe Mann, Prime Minister Thein Sein and secretary (1) …

Naypyidaw to Launch New Daily
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
In Burma, all media are controlled by the junta. The military government runs three Burmese-language daily newspapers—Rangoon-based Myanma Ahlin and Kyaymon …

Oxfam winds up tsunami relief work
Oxford Mail, UK –
The seven countries Oxfam provided relief in were Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, the Maldives and Myanmar (Burma). Of the money raised, …

Russia Urges Burma to Cooperate with UN
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Last week, the UN said there was no immediate plan for Gambari to visit Burma in the near future. “He has no plans immediately to go to Myanmar [Burma],” …

Hundreds Illegally Trafficked Daily from Pakistan to Iran
The Media Line, NY –
… also used as a transit and target country for women and children from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma and former Soviet countries in Central Asia. …

Burma grounds its jumping cats
Toronto Star,  Canada –
Under foreign pressure, the military junta suspended Suu Kyi’s house arrest briefly in 2002. I flew to Rangoon for an interview at the dilapidated …

Doctors aid group lists top 10 humanitarian crises
Reuters South Africa, South Africa –
In Myanmar and Zimbabwe, MSF blamed the governments for failing to provide adequate health care or assist aid workers. “In Myanmar, where MSF is the main …

Sudan maintains defiance
Workers World –
Also: “Western policies in crisis regions as diverse as Georgia, Zimbabwe, Burma or the Balkans are suffering serial defeats. …

MSF Releases 11th annual list of ‘Top 10′ humanitarian crises
Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopia –
The international aid group MSF (Doctors Without Borders) has released its 11th annual list of ‘Top 10′ humanitarian crises. Ethiopia’s Ogaden region is on …

Remembering Burma’s Storm Victims
Voice of America –
The government severely restricted access of aid workers and foreign assistance to the affected areas in the aftermath of the cyclone disaster. …

Myanmar mothers have poor access to healthcare
Reuters India, India –
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the Burma Medical Association surveyed 3000 women along the border in eastern Myanmar and …

Retired buses find new lives in rural areas
Asahi Shimbun, Japan –
“In recent years, there have also been requests (for used buses) from Russia and Myanmar (Burma),” the dealer said. “We are now suspending exports due to …

New data regarding safety of artemisinin combination therapy for …
EurekAlert (press release), DC –
This trial was conducted on the Thai-Burmese border, an area where malaria transmission is low but highly drug-resistant, meaning that pregnant women who …

Poor maternal health care widespread in eastern Burma
EurekAlert (press release), DC –
Access to maternal health-care is extremely limited and poor nutrition, anemia and malaria are widespread in eastern Burma, which increases the risk of …

Medical aid charity has grim diagnosis on world’s humanitarian crises
Scotsman, United Kingdom –
By MICHAEL ASTOR SPIRALLING violence in Somalia, refugees fleeing violence in eastern Congo, and medical emergencies in Burma and Zimbabwe were among the …

Ticket Replay: Obama wants to be president of all 57 states
Los Angeles Times Blogs, CA –
(UPDATE: At a later stop Obama was talking with reporters and expressed concern he’d also mis-stated the number of potential cyclone victims in Burma. …

Thai cabinet line-up could anger Thaksin’s allies
Financial Times, UK –
Mr Kasit said he was hoping to reengage Burma in dialogue. “We will talk across the board on all issues,” he said. Asean last week adopted a new charter …

Malaysia purrs into action with plan to double rare tiger numbers
Scotsman, United Kingdom –

Substantial trade is done on the black markets – in China for skins and tiger bone wine, in Indonesia for bones, skins, claws and teeth, in Burma for tiger …

In Myanmar and Zimbabwe, MSF blamed the governments for failing to provide adequate health care or assist aid workers. “In Myanmar, where MSF is the main …

Somali violence tops catastrophe list
PRESS TV, Iran –

Leading the dire health conditions in Burma and Zimbabwe, the violence in the Horn of Africa nation topped the list which is annually published by the group …

US jury acquits oil giant in Nigerian deaths
FinalCall.com, IL –
It supports an arrogance and culture of abuse in Nigeria that is repeated in places like Ecuador, Burma and Angola, they insist. “What an American jury has ..

Nothing funny about Burma’s human rights record
The Canberra Times, Australia –
Zarganar joins Burma’s most famous political prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, in being incarcerated for actions that in any normal …

Czech-led EU must not fail freedom-seeking Burma again
Aktuálně.cz, Czech Republic –


Myanmar as a member of the group is perhaps most likely to listen to their voice. Besides they have signed up to the ASEAN Charter which includes provisions …

Health: Violence creates medical crisis for many, says report
Adnkronos International Italia, Italy –

(AKI) – Iraq, Pakistan, Burma and war-torn Sudan suffered some of the worst medical emergencies in the world during 2008, according to the humanitarian …

USDA members receive training in Naypyidaw
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
The member also said that 500 pairs of Buddhist monks’ robes and 500 bamboo sticks have been put aside in Taungoo district USDA office. …

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 23, 2008 at 7:00 am

World focus on Burma (1 October 2008)

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Bus drivers’ licences revoked by Dala authorities
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
… have revoked the licences of private bus drivers whom they accuse of suspending their services to mark Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on 19 June. …

Growing list of companies implicated in Chinese milk scandal
AsiaNews.it, Italy –
The ones who are paying no attention to the scandal are the military junta leaders in Myanmar. Although the government has prohibited the importing of …

Win Tin’s Logical Principles
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Burma’s Foreign Minister Nyan Win told the UN General Assembly on Monday, “Peace and stability now prevails in almost all parts of the country. …

The Freedom We Know
Examiner.com –
Areas of the world where Christians face persecution include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), …

Reports of Rape Surface in Cyclone-devastated Delta
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… Reports of rape and other abuses of women are surfacing as communities in Burma’s Irrawaddy delta continue to recover from May’s Cyclone Nargis. …

Chinese Dam Incurs KIO Wrath
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The KIO, which signed a ceasefire with the Burmese junta in 1994, was reportedly unhappy that several projects to build dams in Kachin State in northern …

Cyber cafes ordered to close early
Independent Mon News Agency, WA –
Suffering from an unnamed fear on the 1st anniversary of the saffron revolution the Burmese military junta has ordered cyber cafes to close early in the …

Generals Authorized to Buy Land Cruisers
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By LAWI WENG The latest perk for Burma’s senior military officials is a Toyota Land Cruiser, according to a source close to the military government. …

Elected MP Dr Myo Win dies aged 54
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
He took part in the 1988 uprising and became the chairman of Kawa township National League for Democracy and won his seat in the 1990 election with 67.65 …

Journal Punished for Defying Order to Drop Win Tin Report
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Burma’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Board ordered the suppression of a report on Win Tin’s release and a short profile of the freed political prisoner. …

ISA – INTERNET SABOTAGE ACT
Malaysia Today, Malaysia –
Malaysia has joined the ranks of China, Vietnam and Burma as a leading violator of online freedom. Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, also known as RPK, …

Revolting comedy stunt
Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom –
“Last week we freed Burmese dissident U Win Tin because of a couple of Amnesty gigs in the Whitla Hall. If Saturday night goes well I reckon Guantanamo Bay …

Burma’s Neighbors Absorbing Cyclone Survivors
Free Speech Radio News, CA –
Cyclone Nargis hit Burma at a time when inflation and unemployment were already at their highest levels in years. To make matters worse, salt water now …

Aid and water dry up in Burma’s cyclone zone
Times Online, UK –
Lurking in the background is the deepest fear of all — another cyclone, as strong, or stronger. Nargis was unprecedented in Burmese history, …

Naypyidaw auctions seized vehicles in southern Burma
Independent Mon News Agency, WA –
The junta only gave back the seized cars to DKBA. NMSP lost dozens of cars in 2003 and does not dare to buy it back afraid that regime’s law is not …

Mizzima websites hacked
Mizzima.com, India –
Mizzima, however, is still unable to confirm whether the attack is the work of the Burmese military junta, which has banned Mizzima’s websites inside the …

Media groups alarmed over murder of journalists
GMA news.tv, Philippines –
In addition, the PEC and the ICPJ feel encouraged by the liberation of Burmese journalist U Win Tin (79 years old) after 20 years of detention in Burma. …

Horrific comedy stunt
Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom –
“Last week we freed Burmese dissident U Win Tin because of a couple of Amnesty gigs in the Whitla Hall. If Saturday night goes well I reckon Guantanamo Bay …


WASHINGTON (AFP) — An independent US group is to carry out unprecedented studies to determine whether Myanmar’s military rulers, accused of rampant human …

NLD warned over ‘dictatorship’ remarks
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“The establishment of a government that guarantees basic human rights is the NLD’s aim, and therefore stopping the re-emergence of dictatorship is also the …

Religious freedom hanging in the balance in Burma
Mizzima.com, India –
… the report calls out the generals on their attempt to “systematically restrict efforts by Buddhist clergy to promote human rights and political freedom. …

Junta claims international law on its side, condemns sanctions
Mizzima.com, India –
The tirade, on the session’s last day of debate, linked the prospects of a more economically integrated Burma to the betterment of both the region’s and…

Junta issues warning on tainted milk
Mizzima.com, India –
A report in the Burmese language newspaper Myanmar Ahlin, an official government mouth-piece, on Tuesday said with Chinese milk and milk products found to …

Burmese refugees join seasonal work force
Durham Herald Sun, NC –
This group of refugees from Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, were forced to leave their country because of war and persecution. Coming soon? …

Burma’s State Media Still Mum on Tainted Milk Powder
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
She told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the semi-official Myanmar Times weekly newspaper earlier published a story that said all imported dairy products from …

Burma Discovers Large New Coal Mine in Shan State
RedOrbit, TX –
Yangon, 1 October: Myanmar [Burma] has discovered a new large coal mine in northern part of the country’s Shan state and mining of the mineral will start …

Mon National Democratic Front Liberation Area (MNDF-LA) founded
Independent Mon News Agency, WA –
… founded in Mae Sot yesterday to join hands with Mon organizations and other opposition groups in exile to continue the struggle for democracy in Burma. …

The threat of Indian globalisation
Thought Leader, South Africa –
Predictably, human rights, labour and environmental issues are some of the concerns at the heart of the Chinese dilemma. The emerging Chinese economic …

Activists Re-Assess Their “China Strategy”
UN Dispatch –
Since then, though, many human rights activists have been dismayed by China’s alliances with Zimbabwe, Burma, and Sudan–and have complained that China uses …

Cooking With the Enemy
New York Times, United States –

She thinks India, Pakistan and Israel are pretty slippery, as are Cuba, Burma (which she refuses to call Myanmar) and China. Each country gets a chapter, …

Luxury cruises on the Rajang
New Straits Times, Malaysia –
… reviving the name of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company of old Burma which in the 1920s, ran a fleet of more than 650 vessels on the rivers of Myanmar. …

Burmese ruby ban takes effect
National Jeweler Network, NY –

Gems from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) that entered the country prior to the ban can still be bought and sold in the United States, at least as long as …

Neither engagement nor sanctions
OpEdNews, PA –
by Zaw Nay Aung Page 1 of 1 page(s) The Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win demanded the West to revoke the sanctions placed on Burma at the UN General …

REGIONAL BRIEFS
Chandigarh Tribune, India –
35 Burma nationals nabbed: Border Security Force personnel nabbed 35 Burma (Myanmar) nationals while they were trying to sneak into the Pakistan territory …

Slow recovery for Burma’s cyclone victims
Christian Science Monitor, MA –

… Burma – The locals say things will never be the same in Mya Sein Ken, deep in the heart of the cyclone-savaged delta in southern Burma (Myanmar). …

Security Council Extends UNMIL’s Presence
The News Newspaper Online, Liberia –

The Security Council Monday extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through September 2009, and authorized Secretary-General …


World focus on Burma (19 September 2008)

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Rebel heart
The Statesman, India –
She tells Mathures Paul about her plans to compose songs on Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalits in India The President of Iran will have to get …

‘Kumbaya’ at the UN, but Georgia on their minds
World Tribune –
Fine, but what about addressing human rights issues in Burma, Cuba, or Zimbabwe? Not a word but perhaps we should play the soundtrack of Kumbaya! …

Moral symbols in politics
Inquirer.net, Philippines –
Figures like Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma and Cory Aquino quickly come to …

Lessons from the Rohingya Muslim crisis
Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka –
By Kusal Perera The old Burma, now known as Myanmar is a Theravada Buddhist country run by a military junta for over 4 decades for now, with an extremely …

Credentials Committee of the UN to decide on Burma
Mizzima.com, India –
The junta in 1990 held general elections, where detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led National League for Democracy party won a landslide …

Burma opposition offered guns by Islamists
NEWS.com.au, Australia –
ISLAMIC fundamentalists have offered weapons to Burma’s opposition groups with which to fight the ruling military junta. And the resistance groups – which …

Activists put Burma’s grim jails on display
Christian Science Monitor, MA –
But this 10-by-10-square-foot room isn’t actually a prison cell – the notorious prisons in Burma (Myanmar) are, of course, off limits to visitors. …

UN agency voices concern over sentencing of labour activist in Myanmar
UN News Centre –
19 September 2008 – The United Nations labour agency today expressed concern at the recent sentencing of an activist in Myanmar to two years of hard labour, …

ICAF calls for support for performers in Burma
Stage, UK –
… of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has called for his immediate and unconditional release, and for the charges to be dropped. …

Myanmar’s conflict with dissidents reaches cyberspace
Periscope IT, UK –
Another of the targeted publications was the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), which covered last year’s monk-lead protests and the subsequent …

Myanmar sentences activist to hard labor
PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
AP BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – An activist in Myanmar has been sentenced to two years of hard labor after gathering evidence for the United Nations about child …

US Lists “Major” Drug Producing and Trafficking Countries, Names …
Council On Hemispheric Affairs, DC –
The Burmese military junta has been criticized for years by Washington on numerous grounds, while Bolivia’s Morales and Venezuela’s Chavez are at the core …

Far from home: 20 years in exile
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
… the late general Ne Win’s socialist regime and is now a leading member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, holds a different view. …

Burmese dissident websites shut down
The Canberra Times, Australia –
TWO leading dissident Burmese websites have been shut down by a sophisticated cyber attack believed to have been initiated by the military junta a day …

Monks gather in Sittwe to mark anniversary of boycott
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
He also called for unity and cooperation from monks across Burma in their protest against the military government. The monk added that security had been …

MYANMAR: Poor roads hamper cyclone recovery
IRINnews.org, NY –
As well as impacting organised relief operations, bad roads mean fewer private Burmese donors are reportedly travelling to the affected areas, …

Urgent call for actions against human trafficking
Newstrack India, India –
Talking about the huge migrating population in Northeast from Bangladesh and Burma, she stressed that many times, migration and human trafficking had an …

Burmese Focus On Survival, Many No Longer Look To US For Help
Huffington Post, NY –
If you want to discuss politics in Myanmar (also known as Burma), even far-away American politics, you don’t meet in a popular restaurant for a chat over …

Myanmar gives labour activist hard labour
Reuters India, India –
The case against Thet Way has become a barometer of whether the former Burma’s ruling generals are serious about stamping out forced labour, which in some …

Tackling climate change could create millions of new jobs: ILO
Newstrack India, India –
GENEVA (ILO News) – Early global efforts to avert dangerous climate change are already generating new jobs, and could produce millions of new employment …

Chinese, Russian influence growing in General Assembly
Mizzima.com, India –
The dissident petition to unseat the junta in the General Assembly takes as its principle arguments the poor record of human rights inside Burma over the …

Burma Watchers To Burmese Junta: Democratize Or Face More Protests
Mindanao Examiner, Philippines –
Year 1988 also saw the rise to popularity of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as she assumed leadership of the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy. …

Cyber attacks cripple opposition Myanmar media
eTaiwan News, Taiwan –
The military dictatorship that has ruled Myanmar, formerly called Burma, since 1962 ordered an army crackdown on Sept. 18, 2007 that the United Nations …

Myanmar junta takes out critical websites – dissidents
Reuters India, India –
By Ed Cropley BANGKOK (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military junta has launched a series of crippling cyberspace attacks on dissident websites on the first …

The Generals Go Cyber?
Wall Street Journal –
By AUNG ZAW Burma’s military junta has so successfully suppressed the media that Internet sites based outside the country are one of the few remaining …

Pro-democracy websites under attack as protest anniversary nears
First Post, UK –

For the past two days, the three websites – the Democratic Voice of Burma, The Irrawaddy and New Era Journal – have been bombarded by junk mail, …

The Strain Behind The Smile
Atlantic Free Press, Netherlands –
… remain uneasy about giving their imprimatur to a [Chinese] regime which jails dissidents, persecutes religious groups, backs Burma and bankrolls Darfur. …

Burmese exiles appeal for neighbour’s help
Newstrack India, India –
The pro-democracy Burmese exiles, living in India, have appealed the neighbouring countries of Burma (Myanmar) for a pro-actives role such that the detained …

LAWRENCE WILKERSON AND PATRICK DOHERTY: Cuba’s October surprise
Belleville News Democrat,  USA –
Even Burma, which has a military dictatorship more repressive than Cuba’s and was ravaged by Cyclone Fargis, received $50 million in aid. …

Reporters on the Job
Christian Science Monitor, MA –
But in many ways, he felt like he’d never left Burma (Myanmar). Even though hundreds of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operate in the town, …

stuff-we-like
Crikey (subscription), Australia –
Last year’s crackdown on Burma’s biggest protests in 19 years spurred them to try new tactics, from teaching human rights to stockpiling arms. …

US Congress Acts to Prosecute Recruiters of Child Soldiers
Pinoy Press, Philippines –
Human rights group Kawagib has denounced the ongoing campaign, saying it has victimized thousands of civilians. (Photo from Kawagib End The War. …

Five Activists Win Human Rights Watch Awards
Pinoy Press, Philippines –
(New York, September 15, 2008) – Five brave and selfless advocates of human rights from Burma, Congo, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan have been …

On the brink of becoming a failed state
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Certain Asian countries are listed as failed states in this year’s index, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, North Korea and Sri Lanka. ..

Christians launch campaign for lasting change in Burma
Christian Today — Australia, Australia –
When Cyclone Nargis hit Burma in May 2008, the regime initially refused then restricted, obstructed and diverted international aid efforts. …

The Chinese Absence
Asharq Alawsat, UK –
China is in a similar position on Burma (Myanmar). Were it to withdraw its support from the ruling generals, they would stand little chance against the …

For a fairer Games, cut out the silliness
On Line opinion, Australia –
If Beijing is the yardstick, the winning city should be in Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Libya or Burma. What was the IOC thinking when it chose Beijing? …

Burma-Thailand Gas Pipeline Construction Set to Begin
RedOrbit, TX –
Construction of the third Thai-Myanmar gas pipeline to carry natural gas from newly discovered offshore deposits in Myanmar is expected to begin at the end …

Penguins and golf in Burma’s hidden capital
Independent, UK –
Building began after the personal astrologer of Than Shwe, the head of the notorious Burmese junta, prophesied unrest in 2005. …

Campaign 2008: America and the world
The Tidings, CA –
And, once again avoiding the words “international community,” what would you have done about the grotesque irresponsibility of the Burmese military junta …

Monks with guns? Burma’s younger activists get bolder.
Christian Science Monitor, MA –

By Anand Gopal | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor Rangoon, Burma – If Ashin Zawta has his way, the next time the government of Burma (Myanmar) …

Attacks cripple Myanmar opposition media sites
GMA news.tv, Philippines –
“We think it has something to do with the Saffron Revolution,” the anti-government protests by thousands of Buddhist monks in Myanmar on Sept. …

BROWN: Burmese generals surfing the Internet

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

COMMENTARY:

Military trucks are park outside a government building in Yangon, November 8, 2005, waiting to carry away records and other …

With the push of a button, the generals in Burma can instantly access the Internet, thanks to a U.S.-built and U.S.-financed satellite. The generals and their cronies have been doing this for months as the Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. Ex-Im Bank) and the U.S. State Department which together made it possible, stand by silently.

In this instance, the U.S. government was apparently more than eager to see a U.S. company, Loral, build and deliver a sophisticated broadband satellite to a Thailand-based telecommunications company known as Thaicom, formerly Shin Satellite.

At first glance, there appears to be nothing wrong here, but scratch the surface and the Thaicom-Burma connection quickly appears. It was well-established and well-known to all parties concerned long before the satellite in question even reached the launch pad in 2005.

Keep in mind that the White House including first lady Laura Bush, and the U.S. Congress have been quite vocal in condemning the government of Burma, officially called Myanmar. In 2007, for example, President Bush extended for another year the national emergency first signed by President Clinton in 1997. Add to the list the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, and the executive order signed by President Bush that same year.

So the message to Burma has been clear, while the gap that divides the United States and the government of Thailand when it comes to Burma grows larger. Unlike Thailand, engaging Burma has not been the preference of the American government, and U.S. companies are strictly forbidden from doing any business with the government of Burma, although these rules simply do not apply to businesses in Thailand.

More than six years ago, as the human-rights record of the junta in Burma was steadily deteriorating, American taxpayers quietly provided financial backing for construction of the broadband satellite for Thaicom via $190 million in loan guarantees provided U.S. Ex-Im Bank. The French government stepped up and provided loan guarantees for launch services.

America’s dislike for the junta did not prevent Thaicom’s ties to the government of Burma from strengthening. In 2004, for example, the Ex-Im Bank of Thailand rolled out a massive, multimillion-dollar loan to Burma that helped finance telecommunications equipment for the Burmese generals, including a substantial number of broadband satellite terminals to enable Thaicom’s services to be delivered throughout Burma.

The government of Burma and all the assorted businesses run by Burmese generals no doubt constitute the largest pool of satellite broadband customers for Thaicom in Burma, before and after the cyclone. The fact that former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra created and ran Thaicom’s parent company, Shin Corp., cannot go unmentioned. Shin Corp. is now owned by Temasek Holdings of Singapore, which holds a 41 percent stake in Thaicom and remains its largest shareholder.

Since the satellite itself was launched in 2005, Thaicom has steadily expanded its presence in Burma. And in early 2008, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications and Thaicom signed a new pair of contracts. This was followed by news that the final remaining portion of the above-mentioned 2004 Ex-Im Bank of Thailand telecom loan is to be handed over to the generals in Burma this year as well.

The response of the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Ex-Im Bank while all this has unfolded has been to say absolutely nothing. Apparently, when the government of Burma gains access to U.S.-funded satellite broadband technology, the official U.S. response is to simply look the other way and ignore everything that is happening.

So the generals in Burma and their buddies go on surfing the Internet, casually using a U.S.-built satellite in the process while knowing that what truly represents a dark stain on U.S. policymaking in Southeast Asia will no doubt be ignored altogether.

Peter J. Brown is a Maine-based free-lance writer who writes frequently about satellite industry trends and developments in Asia.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/06/burmese-generals-surfing-the-internet/

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 6, 2008 at 4:08 am