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Posts Tagged ‘Probe

UN: Myanmar prison shootings should be probed

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GENEVA (AP) — Myanmar should investigate reports that inmates were shot to death in a Yangon prison as Cyclone Nargis ravaged the country last month, a U.N. human rights expert said Friday.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s new investigator for Myanmar, said security forces apparently opened fire after prisoners at Insein prison panicked when zinc roofs were blown off during the May 2-3 cyclone.

“The authorities should conduct a thorough and transparent investigation to clarify the facts and identify the perpetrators of these arbitrary killings,” he said in a 16-page report to the rights council.

Tate Naing of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) put the death toll at 40, based on several reports the group received about the shooting.

The Thailand-based organization for Myanmar exiles said more than 1,500 prisoners were forced to congregate inside a prison hall and were locked inside until the morning of May 3.

Angry prisoners set fire to the hall and a riot ensued. Guards attempting to contain the situation opened fire and soldiers and riot police were called in, the group said.

However, Myanmar’s government rejected the claim that inmates had been shot in the incident.

“No one was killed or injured during the event,” said Wunna Maung Lwin, Myanmar’s ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva. “The prison security, as well as the police and the military, had not in any circumstances used arms against the prisoners.”

Questioning Quintana’s impartiality, Lwin added that “human rights issues must be addressed with respect for national sovereignty.”

Quintana, who took up his post May 1, has yet to visit the country himself.

In his report, he touched on aid delays related to the cyclone, but stopped short of blaming the junta for causing additional suffering to the 2.4 million people affected by the storm. Many could not be reached by international relief agencies because of government-imposed restrictions.

Beyond the cyclone, Quintana said he was greatly concerned the country’s rulers had made no improvement on important issues such as the treatment of political prisoners, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

“The situation of human rights in Myanmar … has not changed for the better,” said Quintana, a rights expert from Argentina.

“The reported number of political prisoners and detention conditions continue to be appalling,” Quintana said, adding he had been informed that some 1,900 people are imprisoned on political grounds.

He called on the government to release the country’s most prominent political prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years.

The Southeast Asian country faced international condemnation last September after security forces violently suppressed pro-democracy protests, killing dozens.

Last month’s referendum on a new constitution meanwhile lacked transparency because international observers were blocked from attending, he said. The vote was held May 10, about a week after the May 2-3 cyclone.

Critics say the constitution is designed to perpetuate the military’s decades-old grip on power and have questioned the fairness of the referendum.

The government reported that 98.12 percent of the 27.3 million eligible voters cast ballots and that 92.48 percent of them approved the charter.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5id4uVdD2eWaFKyxsq6RQ2ydxb_eAD914N3D01

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 7, 2008 at 2:27 am

World Focus on Burma (7 June 2008)

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Try military skills on humanitarian goals
New Mexican, NM –
But there was a spot of brightness in the tragedy that left 78000 people dead and 56000 more missing: The oppressors of the land once known as Burma are …
Their mission of mercy to secretive land
Florida Times-Union, FL –
… once known as Burma. The refugees have their own service at the church at 1 pm on Sundays. Thompson, 56, and his wife traveled to Myanmar this spring, …
International Aid’s eyes in Myanmar see vast need
MLive.com, MI –
During his trip, Enriquez focused on building relationships with organizations already stationed in and around Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. …
UN rights envoy pushes Burma on prison killings
Radio Australia, Australia –
Burma has denied reports that its soldiers shot dead a number of prison inmates during last month’s cyclone. In his report to the UN Human Rights Council, …
Burma vote relied on imaginary numbers
Lebanon Daily News, PA –
Burma (called Myanmar by its military) has a population of 42 million or so. The Burmese government says that 27 million Burmese are over 18. …

Burma: Dictators, disasters and consequences

China Post, Taiwan –

While the world community has literally pleaded with the junta to accept humanitarian relief, the military rulers of the country they call Myanmar, …

Drop ’em in the name of peace

Western Star, Canada –

You’ve heard of Myanmar? I hadn’t, not in school. In school we learned about Burma, although not much. We were too busy learning about the little African …

Burma Arrests Celebrity Critic Who Organized Cyclone Relief

Washington Post, United States –

The state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper, meanwhile, lashed out at “unscrupulous” elements that it said were exaggerating the problems in the delta. …

Charities persevere in unfriendly neighborhoods

Georgia Straight, Canada –

When a cyclone tore through the south of Burma (also known as Myanmar) in May, the country’s ruling military junta was hammered for refusing to allow …

Burma condemns foreign media reports

Radio Australia, Australia –

… of Myanmar, accuses self-seekers of Faking video footage of the destruction and selling it to foreign media who have used it to harm Burma’s image. …

Myanmar police fired on prisoners during cyclone: UN rights report

JURIST –

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP) [advocacy website] estimated that 36 prisoners were killed and 70 were injured [AAPP press …

UN says cyclone relief aid moving to Myanmar, but not enough

TopNews, India –

New York – Myanmar’s military government has provided entry visas to 180 UN relief workers and authorized other international staff to provide assistance to …

Myanmar’s leaders have politicised aid effort: Amnesty

Hindu, India –

The article Myanmar’s cyclone crisis and India’s aid by PS Suryanarayana published in The Hindu on 30 May 2008 quotes India’s Minister of State Jairam …

UN Rights Envoy Pushes Burma on Aid, Prisoners

The Epoch Times Ireland, Ireland –

An Indian staffer at the Myanmar embassy removes placards pasted by protesting Burmese in exile outside the Myanmar Ambassador’s residence after a protest …

Cyclone Nargis leaves death, destruction and deep emotional scars

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Please pray for the millions of people affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) and help ensure basic necessities such as food, clean water and shelter …

Volunteer holds free film shows

The Daily Yomiuri, Japan –

… very quiet spontaneously began talking about how the film had sparked nostalgic memories of the time he spent in Burma, which is now called Myanmar. …

UN: Myanmar prison shootings should be probed

The Associated Press –

Tate Naing of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) put the death toll at 40, based on several reports the group received about the …

Cyclone destroys trees in Myanmar’s main city

The Associated Press –

Under British rule, Burma — as the country was then called — was one of the wealthiest in Southeast Asia and the region’s biggest producer of timber and …

UN expert calls for probe into Myanmar prison deaths

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria –

The most detailed account so far has come from a Thailand-based organization of Myanmar exiles, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), …

UN rights envoy pushes Myanmar on aid, prisoners

Reuters –

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, June 6 (Reuters) – The UN human rights expert for Myanmar urged the ruling junta on Friday to investigate reports that its …

Volunteer holds free film shows

The Daily Yomiuri, Japan –

… very quiet spontaneously began talking about how the film had sparked nostalgic memories of the time he spent in Burma, which is now called Myanmar. …


The Associated Press

Cyclone destroys trees in Myanmar’s main city

The Associated Press –

Under British rule, Burma — as the country was then called — was one of the wealthiest in Southeast Asia and the region’s biggest producer of timber and …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 7, 2008 at 2:14 am

World Focus on Burma (15-11-2007)

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  1. UN Envoy Reports on Extent of Myanmar Crackdown
    PBS –

    JIM LEHRER: Next, an update on the suppression of anti-government demonstrators in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The United Nations special envoy for human …

  2. UPDATE 1-EU warns may tighten Myanmar sanctions-draft
    Reuters UK, UK –
    … amend or further reinforce restrictive measures against the government of Burma/Myanmar in the light of developments on the ground. …
  3. UN human rights body backs new probe of Myanmar
    Reuters South Africa, South Africa –

    … triggered by a 500 percent oil price rise in the former Burma. The Brazilian professor, who visited Myanmar in November, said at least 31 people died …

  4. UN Human Rights Council To Send Expert To Burma
    Scoop.co.nz, New Zealand –
    … 13 resolutions and decisions, including a request that the independent expert on Myanmar return to the South-East Asian nation for further assessments. …
  5. Energy for Thailand, Tragedy for Burma
    Asian Tribune, Thailand –
    General vulnerability in Myanmar is defined by accelerating impoverishment and the growing inability of the social service structures to address the basic …
  6. BURMA – BIRD FLU Burma reports first human case of bird flu
    France24, France –
    By Reuters The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced Myanmar (Burma)’s first human case of bird flu. The victim, a seven-year-old girl, …
  7. Mission of Burma Have a Burmese Mission
    Pitchforkmedia.com, IL –

    … the stage at Allston, ma’s Great Scott January 20 to benefit the politically and economically troubled southeast Asian nation of Burma (aka Myanmar). …

  8. An Adventure in Burma
    DCist.com, DC –
    … his people’s continuous fight for democracy (Burma was officially renamed Myanmar in 1989 but pro-democracy advocates refuse to acknowledge the change). …
  9. Canada enforces sanctions on Myanmar
    AFP –

    … to Burma, the Burmese regime has been completely unwilling to undertake genuine reform,” said Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier, referring to Myanmar by …

  10. Vote possible in House of Representatives to give US Congress’ top …
    International Herald Tribune, France –
    AP WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives could vote as early as next week on whether to present Congress’ highest civilian honor to Myanmar democracy …
  11. Spies, suspicion and empty monasteries – Burma today
    Guardian Unlimited, UK –

    Buddhist monks at the Chaukhtatgyi Paya, or reclining Buddha, monastery in Yangon, Myanmar, Burma. Photograph: Sean Smith The security policemen who …

  12. Myanmar reports its first human case of bird flu, in 7-year-old girl
    Malaysia Star, Malaysia –
    YANGON, Myanmar (AP): Myanmar has confirmed the country’s first case of a human being infected by bird flu, state media reported Saturday. …
  13. Bird flu resurfaces in Asia, deaths and poultry outbreaks reported
    USA Today –
    The World Health Organization also confirmed Burma’s first human case. A 7-year-old girl from the eastern Shan State became ill Nov. …
  14. Religion dominated the public stage in 2007
    East Valley Tribune, AZ –
    … boldly marched this fall in Myanmar (formerly Burma) to raise world awareness of the military junta, which has cracked down on dissent over its actions. …
  15. Burma’s first human case of avian flu confirmed
    Mizzima.com, India –
    The state-owned media New Light of Myanmar reported the outbreak saying the situation is under control. Earlier, the Burmese authorities concealed the …
  16. Richard Paw U, 85, helped unite Island Buddhists
    Honolulu Advertiser, HI –
    … Burma, he saw many changes in his lifetime, including the takeover of the area by a militia. The area of his birthplace is now known as Sittwe, Myanmar. …
  17. Serbia angered by EU move to send mission to Kosovo
    Serbianna.com, MI –
    … amend or further reinforce restrictive measures against the government of Burma/Myanmar in the light of developments on the ground. …
  18. Obama can restore global trust
    Berkshire Eagle, MA –
    In October, I was looking at curios in the lobby of a small hotel in Burma (called Myanmar by the junta that rules it), when a very well dressed and coifed …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 15, 2007 at 2:48 am