Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Russia

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 (29 August 2008)

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India’s Myanmar Policy An Alternative Roadmap
MorungExpress, India –
At least twelve groups are believed to have bases in Myanmar. India has already provided Burma with military equipment but Burma has also requested …

Suu Kyi party: UN trip yields no results
International Herald Tribune, France –
AP YANGON, Myanmar: Myanmar’s main opposition party lashed out Friday at UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, saying his visits to Myanmar have failed to …

NLD Criticizes Gambari
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By WAI MOE Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has slammed UN Special Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari’s mission to Burma …

Soldiers Still Watch Suu Kyi
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The officer told The Irrawaddy that most soldiers believe that the political situation in Burma cannot improve without Suu Kyi’s involvement and that even …

Ten jailed for September 2007 protests
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Aug 29, 2008 (DVB)–Ten people, including Bogalay township National League for Democracy chairman U Aung Khin Bo, have been sentenced to 30 months’ …

Public Servant Online, UK –
The complete lock-down in Tibet mirrors that of Burma, a country whose ruling junta is actively supported by the Chinese authorities, including, …

Ukraine, Russia and European stability
guardian.co.uk, UK –
Leave to one side that Russia spends a lot of time arguing in the UN and elsewhere against “interference” in internal affairs, whether in Zimbabwe or Burma. …

US ‘Deeply Disappointed’ about Junta
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Improved relations between Burma and the international community depend on the Burmese regime taking concrete and sincere steps in this direction. …

Joe Biden and Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“As far as I know, the US government knows that they need to have dialogue with the Burmese junta,” said Aung Naing Oo, a Burmese political commentator in …

Anger in New Zealand over Deal Easing Trade with Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“Free trade here will mean choice New Zealand products will serve at the tables of the fascist junta of Myanmar [Burma], while we get cheap products …

New Zealand labour union attacks ASEAN trade deal
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
Hanson cited the murder of Ko Moe Naung, a Seafarers’ Union of Burma (Myanmar) organizer in the Ranong region, who he said was killed by Burmese military …

Sri Mulyani Indrawati: Indonesia’s Woman of Substance
Tempo Interaktif, Indonesia –
… former IMF director for Asia, defeated Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner who is currently under home arrest by order of Burma’s military regime. …

Suu Kyi 38th most powerful woman in world
Mizzima.com, India –
Burma’s democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is the 38th most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes magazine. …

Lakelanders return from cyclone relief effort
Westmorland Gazette, UK –
Hamish Wilson and Rupert Miller travelled to Burma immediately after Cyclone Nargis struck the west coast of Myanmar on May 2 effecting over 2.5 million …

Five, last year’s protesters, arrested again
Mizzima.com, India –
Chiang Mai – As news of democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to accept food supplies spreads among people, Burmese junta authorities are taking no …

Maritime Union Criticizes Myanmar Connection In Free Trade Deal
Voxy, New Zealand –
The Maritime Union has previously spoken out about the murder of Ko Moe Naung, a Seafarers’ Union of Burma (Myanmar) organizer in the Ranong region, …

Remarkable women
Asia Pacific Media Network, CA –
Take a look at the heroic Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner closeted for years in her home in Burma/Myanmar on orders from the evil junta. …

Burmese singer highlights junta abuse
Radio Australia, Australia –
In the west we have Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Billy Bragg but in Burma, there’s Moon Aung, a folksy-pop protest singer. His concerts feature on-stage …

US lashes Burmese junta’s refusal to cooperate with UN
The Standard, Hong Kong –
The US said it was “deeply disappointed” that Burma’s military regime failed to cooperate with United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who visited the nation …

Russia, China Alliance Weakening Over Georgia
New York Sun, United States –
By Staff Reporter of the Sun | August 29, 2008 UNITED NATIONS — An alliance between two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, …

Burma’s Activists Still In Prison
Voice of America –
According to the human rights group Amnesty International, there are still more than two-thousand political prisoners in Burma. And there seems to be no end …

Gecko Fossil Discovered In Amber
OPB News, OR –
It’s embedded in a piece of amber unearthed in Myanmar that dates back some 100 million years. Researchers say it’s possible the gecko ran into a resin pit …

Ancient geckos Christian Science Monitor, MA –

Former Amherst resident goes global: Qing Zhang joins Nobel group …
Amherst Bulletin, MA –
In July and August, she joined activist/actress Mia Farrow and eight women who have won the Nobel Prize on a trip to Sudan and Burma, countries with close …

When the military takes power
Al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt –
In Myanmar, historically Burma, the military has ruled for more than 45 years after toppling the civilian government of Prime Minister U Nu in 1962. …

People Against Democracy
New America Media, CA –
Thailand is not a Republic but is governed by a monarchy backed by a military junta (as in Burma). These protests represent another military coup, …

Refugee’s new home comes into focus through new lens
Tampabay.com, FL –
Mai Ra Hay was born in Myanmar, a military-led nation once known as Burma, bordered by China, Thailand and India. He was an infant when his family fled …

UK: Foreign Secretary David Miliband speech in Ukraine
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
Leave to one side that Russia spends a lot of time arguing in the UN and elsewhere against “interference” in internal affairs, whether in Zimbabwe or Burma. …

US concerned about detained Suu Kyi’s diet
USA Today –
State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in the military-run country, also known as Burma, …

Refusal of the Burmese Regime to Cooperate with the United Nations
US Department of State, DC –
Improved relations between Burma and the international community depend on the Burmese regime taking concrete and sincere steps in this direction.

World focus on Burma (13 August 2008)

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Burmese woman journalist awarded ‘Courage in Journalism’ prize

Mizzima.com, India –

Aye Aye Win (54) was selected for the award for her courageous reporting of events in Burma including the monk-led protests in September 2007, …

Medical graduates to appear for tests on politics for placement?

Mizzima.com, India –

The department, however, rubbished the rumors saying though the medical graduates are required to fill in the placement forms at Burma’s new jungle capital …

All it takes is courage

Cape Argus (subscription), South Africa –

On this 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the next generation will demand the freedoms guaranteed by constitutional and …

Fuel price protestors face new charges

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Aug 13, 2008 (DVB)–Eight students and human rights activists arrested during protests against fuel price hikes last year have had five further charges added …

BME club head accused of drug trafficking

Mizzima.com, India –

Aik Hauk, the son-in-law of UWSA leader Bao You-Xiang, owns several properties in Burma’s largest commercial city and former capital including two night …

U Win Tin tells UN’s Quintana of rights abuses

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –

Veteran journalist U Win Tin met Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, for 45 minutes on 4 August, U Maung Maung Khin …

UN Human Rights Envoy Cancels Press Conference

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By VIOLET CHO The new UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Burma canceled a press conference in Bangkok on Wednesday, a sign that his first trip to Burma …

“Courage in Journalism” Award for Burmese Woman

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By MIN LWIN A Burmese woman journalist, Aye Aye Win, has been awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation “Courage in Journalism” prize for 2008. …

Kids take action for the Burmese

Camden Advertiser, Australia –

The $850 raised will be donated to Catholic aid agency Caritas to support an emergency appeal in Burma following the devastating Cyclone Nargis in May that …

Karen Martyrs’ Day Marked by Calls for Unity

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Although it has taken part in peace talks with the Burmese junta on several occasions, it has never signed a ceasefire agreement. In 2004, Gen Bo Mya, …

Rights abuses dampen Olympic spirit

The Capital Times, WI –

“We are convinced that the Olympic Games will improve the human rights record in China,” said Rogge, who announced that the IOC would rely on international …

Blogging Is Not A Crime

Washington Post, United States –

Hu Jia (China; December, 2007): “For posting his vocal critiques of human rights abuses and environmental degradation in China and calling the Olympics a …

World Briefing 8/13 (Myanmar gen merchants dismiss US embargo threat)

Daily Herald, UT –

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, produces up to 90 percent of the world’s rubies and is a top international supplier of other gems and jade. …

Bush repeatedly highlighted Washington’s “deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights” in China. “The United States believes the people of China …

Australia, Indonesia to propose disaster response plan in APEC: Rudd

Antara, Indonesia –

This year, a cyclone in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, and an earthquake in China cost more than 150000 lives, he added. Rudd noted that when natural …

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention illustrates Burmese junta’s …

JURIST –

Aung Din [Executive Director, US Campaign for Burma]: “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since May 30, 2003, under Article 10 (B) of the …

A post-Thaksin Thailand

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

On the Ratchadaphisek land scandal, Mr Thaksin allegedly used his position as prime minister to aid his wife Khunying Potjaman, who won the bid at one third ..

American Baptist leaders organize first-ever Burmese Baptist meeting

Associated Baptist Press, FL –

Burma — also known as Myanmar, the name given to it by the military junta that has ruled the Southeast Asian nation since 1962 — was one of the first …

Cyclone Nargis and the Politics of Relief and Reconstruction Aid …

Journal of American Medical Association (subscription), IL –

In early May 2008, Cyclone Nargis tore across southern coastal areas of Burma (Myanmar), pushing a tidal surge through villages and rice paddies. …

… the Burmese military junta in eastern Burma, rape is being used as a tool of war, as it is in Darfur,” Williams said, using Myanmar’s former name Burma. …

Russia’s Dangerous Hypocrisy

Washington Post, United States –

Countries such as Zimbabwe, Burma and Sudan will continue riding roughshod on their citizens because they know there’s a bird of the same feather at the UN …

Myanmar gem merchants dismiss US embargo threat

The Associated Press –

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, produces up to 90 percent of the world’s rubies and is a top international supplier of other gems and jade. …

World focus on Burma (11-8-2008)

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… staff includes many for whom bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and disasters like the Chinese earthquake and the cyclone in Burma, hit close to home. …

First fund raising Music album for Nargis released

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi – Burma’s prominent Rock singer, Lay Phyu and several others has release a Music album, of which the proceedings will go for a charity fund to …

The Politics of the Beijing Olympics

National Ledger, AZ –

He could make a definitive statement on human rights while attending the Olympics. I think the President did the right thing. Had he boycotted the Olympics, …

Intermountain Catholic

Intermountain Catholic, UT –

The board reveals that refugees are coming from Burma (Myanmar), Congo, Malaysia, Bhutan, Iran, and Jordan. This month alone will see 63 refugees, …

Questions and Answers on the Community Civil Protection Mechanism

eGov monitor, UK –

Other 2008 expert operations include an intervention in Burma during a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the country’s …

Myanmar activist Suu Kyi meets with lawyer to discuss detention

JURIST –

In May, the junta announced that Myanmar’s draft constitution [JURIST news archive] had been overwhelmingly approved [JURIST report] in a national …

Detained Suu Kyi allowed rare meeting with lawyer

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi – Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday was allowed a rare meeting by the military junta with her lawyer Kyi Win, …

Burmese tourism industry in doldrums

Mizzima.com, India –

An official at the government run ‘Myanmar Hotel and Tourism Corporation’, who wished not to be named, said they are also engaging in sales promotion and …

Olympics Draw Harvest of Online Protests

Media Channel, NY –

Human rights advocates have criticised other countries’ seeming inaction and unwillingness to question China’s policies on Darfur, Burma and Tibet. …

Thailand’s ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and wife jump bail

Los Angeles Times, CA –

… a state-run lottery created to fund education, and in a $120-million loan to neighboring Myanmar, also know as Burma, by Thailand’s Export-Import Bank. …

Junta continues to detain five protesters for marching on 8888 …

Mizzima.com, India –

“We are only promoting and defending human rights in Burma not working for political power. I think the authorities want to weaken our human right awareness …

Worth it: Moments like these is what keeps a dozen or so locals …

Waterbury Republican American, CT –

Today is the second day these 11 Karen (ka-REN) refugees from Burma, now settled in Waterbury, have been immersed in an American institution: Camp. …

The Olympic Spirit is bleeding

OpEdNews, PA –

Its not only China’s controversy with Tibet or the situation in Burma; furthermore, the present armed conflict between Russian and Georgian forces show us …

“China Go For Gold! Give Human Rights in Beijing A Chance …

UNPO, Netherlands –

The Burma Centre, Tibet Support Group, and International Campaign for Tibet hosted a peaceful demonstration calling for sustained attention to human rights …

Rights activist U Myint Aye arrested

Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway – 3 hours ago

“They seized some appeal letters for donations sent to us by Cyclone Nargis victims – they usually send us these so that we know what they need,” she said. …

Meeting President Bush

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Months of preparation went into the meeting, which was intended to give Bush an opportunity to learn more about Burma’s current political situation. …

Danish Minster Slams Burma Boycott, Sanctions

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By WAI MOE The minister for developmental cooperation in Denmark said recently that economic sanctions on Burma and tourism boycott are counter productive, …

Suu Kyi Discusses Detention with her Lawyer

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

By VIOLET CHO Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has had a rare meeting with her lawyer to discuss her continuing house arrest, a National League …

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi allowed visit by lawyer

Turkish Daily News (subscription), Turkey –

HONG KONG – The Associated Press Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with her lawyer for the first time in five years, a colleague of …

House-bound leader allowed to meet lawyer

Edmonton Journal, Canada –

YANGON / Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi held a rare meeting with her lawyer following a visit to the country by a UN rights expert, …

Aung San Suu Kyi detention extended

CNN International –

(CNN) — Myanmar’s military rulers have extended the house arrest of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for another year, a source who spoke to a member …

Burmese comedian maybe jailed for helping Cyclone Nargis victims

Fresh News, India –

By ANI on Sunday, August 10, 2008 One of Burma’s most famous comedians went on trial yesterday for providing aid to victims of Cyclone Nargis. …

Will Russia Get Away With It?

New York Times, United States – WILLIAM KRISTOL

China props up the regimes in Burma and North Korea. The United States, of course, is not without resources and allies to deal with these problems and …

Five Myanmar activists still in detention

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

YANGON • Five of 48 activists arrested as they marched to mark a 1988 pro-democracy uprising remain locked away in military-run Myanmar, an opposition ..

Policy Paper: Will America ever wake up to the Burmese Clarion Call?

Asian Tribune, Thailand – Prof. Kanbawza Win

… which had opposed prior action on Burma — must be reminded of their subsequent agreement with this roadmap. Foreign investment in Myanmar plummeted by …

Suu Kyi allowed to meet lawyer

The News – International, Pakistan –

YANGON: Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met with her lawyer for the first time in five years, one of her colleagues said on Sunday. …

Suu Kyi holds rare meeting with her lawyer

Daily Times, Pakistan –

YANGON: Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi held a rare meeting with her lawyer following a visit to the country by a UN rights expert, …

Open to the voice of Truth

Christian Science Monitor, MA –

Humanitarian aid to the suffering in China and Burma (Myanmar) are another. In the American Midwest, sandbaggers – and other helpers – saved at least some …

Burma’s democratic revolution

The Daily Star, Bangladesh – LARRY JAGAN

These protests grew, bringing Burma to a standstill for weeks and threatening to topple the country’s one-party state. The universities had been shut …

Meticulous, caring party atmosphere; plus dog meat off the menu

Otago Daily Times, New Zealand – Eleanor Ainge Roy

… and praised widely by humanitarian groups, especially in contrast to the junta’s lethargic and inept handling of Cyclone Nargis’ destruction in Burma. …

Playing games

International Herald Tribune, France –

8, 2008, the date of the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, was not a day of celebration for the people of Burma. Rather, it marked the 20th …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 11, 2008 at 4:18 am

RUSSIA-BURMA NUCLEAR INTELLIGENCE REPORT #2

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RUSSIA-BURMA NUCLEAR INTELLIGENCE REPORT #2

By Roland Watson
August 7, 2008

We have received additional intelligence that expands our last report, and which also provides confirmation for earlier reports. This intelligence comes from new sources. In summary, as we continue to receive information, the details of the SPDC’s nuclear program are becoming more and more concrete.

Nuclear program objective

In May 2001, at the National Defence College (Rangoon), SPDC Science and Technology Minister U Thaung said that Burma would make an effort to possess nuclear weapons by 2020. Once achieved, this would make the regime the strongest military power in
Southeast Asia; the country would be transformed into the “Fourth Burman Empire”; and, it would be able to threaten Thailand militarily.

This statement reveals the SPDC to be a grave threat to international security and peace. The regime’s announcement that its new 10 MW reactor is intended for peaceful research purposes is a lie.

Program background

The SPDC’s program to acquire nuclear weapons began in 1990. (At this time the junta was known as SLORC.) Rangoon University Physics Professor U Po Saw was consulted about developing the technology, and also the selection of candidates to become state scholars. The process of honing cadet officers for training in nuclear technology was begun in 1997 with Defense Services Academy Class 42.

Prior to 2000, Russian nuclear experts were invited and discussions on building a reactor, its location, and the training of state scholars, were held.

Our sources also tell us that the junta first contacted India to obtain nuclear technology. The country agreed to accept state scholars. However, since India also stipulated that it had to supervise and control the operation of the reactor, this approach was halted.

With the help of China, the SPDC succeeded in reaching its agreement with Russia. In addition, the Chinese government has advised the junta that it should try, by various means, to make nuclear weapons and, if it cannot produce them by its target date of 2020, that it should buy them.

In 2003, the regime sent thirty military officers to North Korea to study reactor technology. In 2006, it started buying from the North the machinery necessary for reactor construction. The SPDC established its connection with North Korea so it would not have to stop the program if its relations with Russia turned sour.

The SPDC sells natural resources to obtain nuclear technology, including for the costs of educating the state scholars (a new source confirms that there are over 4,600 in Russia alone). We have also learned that the resource sales included 20,000 tons of iron ore mined in Ka-thaing Taung, a range in the Hpakan area in Kachin State (near the famous jade mines). But, and as has been reported by others, the junta did experience financial problems in 2005 and its program with Russia was suspended. These difficulties were overcome, the program was restarted, and the SPDC is now financially secure. (The reason for this change of fortune is obvious. According to the new U.S. Burma law: “The Congressional Research Service estimates that the Yadana pipeline provides at least $500,000,000 in annual revenue for the Burmese Government.”)

Our new sources further tell us that the SPDC has secretly tried to gain assistance from Iran. This confirms a relationship that we have previously heard about from other sources.

Further, in 2000, Japan started taking scholars for doctoral level studies, to operate a reactor. With the help of Japan, new departments of nuclear science have been set up at Rangoon University, Mandalay University, and the Defense Services Academy.

Training in Russia

In 2001, the first batch of scholars, 150 military officers, was sent to
Russia from Tada U Airport on chartered Aeroflot flights.

In Russia, the scholars attend a variety of institutes in Moscow and also St.Petersburg, depending on their subjects of study. The schools include:

MEPHI – Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
MIET – Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology
MATI – Moscow Institute of Aviation Technology
MAI – Moscow Aviation Institute
BMSTU – Bauman Moscow State Technical University
MITT – Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology
MISI – Moscow Civil Engineering Institute
MSMU – Moscow State Mining University

MEPHI teaches nuclear science, MIET rocket guidance, MAI aircraft and space subjects, and MATI the technology for building rockets to carry satellites. There are also course programs in tunneling, uranium mining, and uranium ore refining.

Our new sources confirm that many of the scholars are unhappy. They were forced to go to Russia; their pay is too low; the harsh weather has caused them problems; and the medical care they receive is inadequate. They complained to the Burma Embassy in Moscow, and asked to be sent home. In response, the Directorate of Intelligence sent weekly instructions urging them to complete their work and to fulfill the national aim (to produce nuclear weapons). At one point former Foreign Minister U Win Aung came in person and told the students to finish their studies. He relayed a message from Vice Chief of Staff Maung Aye that anyone who married a Russian woman scientist and then returned to Burma would be rewarded.

Also, in 2002, Quartermaster General Win Myint as well as the Navy Chief, Air Chief and Transport Minister went to Russia and arranged for the training of twenty Air Force pilots, who would then take ten purchased MIG 29s back to Burma. They additionally discussed whether Burma should acquire aircraft carriers and submarines. In July 2002, Science and Technology Minister U Thaung went to Russia and signed the agreement for the acquisition and construction of the nuclear reactor.

Reactor Location

In our previous report we stated that the site of the reactor is Kyauk Pa Toe (aka Kyauk Pha Htoe), near Tha Beik Kyin. While we do not yet have a confirmation of this, we have received additional information about the SPDC’s efforts to keep its location secret.

Even the technicians who were trained to build the reactor were not allowed to know its site. In June 2006, there was an information leak, and the officers for the program were called to Naypyidaw and interrogated. This is apparently a reference to the information that was published by Bertil Lintner in a July 2006 Asia Times article, which said that North Korean technicians had been seen at Natmauk, a town to the east of Magwe.

We have now learned that a 10-megawatt reactor was being built (or was intended to be built) in Myaing Township, Magwe Division, and further that it was to use heavy water and, for that reason, that it would be able to produce plutonium.

This leaves us with two plausible reactor sites, Myaing Township and Kyauk Pa Toe. One scenario that could explain this discrepancy is that the SPDC’s original plan was to locate the reactor in Magwe, but that this subsequently changed, perhaps because, as The Irrawaddy reported, it is an earthquake zone. In any case, while Magwe remains a possibility, there is also a strong source identification for Tha Beik Kyin.

Uranium activities

We have received additional information about Burma’s uranium deposits, which helps confirm our prior reports. Uranium ore that is commercially exploitable exists in the Kyauk Pyon, Paungpyin and Kyauk Sin areas. In addition, uranium prospecting has occurred or is underway in southern Tenasserim, Karenni State (the Loikaw area), Moehnyin in Kachin State, and in areas west of Taunggyi.

Uranium milling is in progress at Tha Beik Kyin. Further, and as we speculated in our last report, we have received information that a program to enrich milled uranium (yellowcake) to U-235 has also begun at Tha Beik Kyin. The entire operation at this location is now referred to as Nuclear Battalion-1.

We have also had confirmed that in early 2006, yellowcake was sold to North Korea. In July 2006, the regime purchased from North Korea nuclear activation equipment for use in uranium enrichment and also for the production of plutonium. While we do not know the precise nature of this equipment, there is a good probability, given the other information, that it includes centrifuges. At least one North Korean nuclear expert is now working in Tha Beik Kyin.

We further have confirmation that a related Military Research Center was built in the Setkhya range (aka Sa Kyin) near Lun Kyaw, which area is also reportedly a Nuclear Battalion, and that there is a Civilian Research Center in Kyaukse Township. There are also Russian nuclear experts in Pyin U Lwin, who give refresher courses to the state scholars after they return home.

Military modernization and Napyidaw defense

The SPDC has made a great effort to purchase major weapons systems and to modernize its armed forces. We can now report the following significant acquisitions.

In 2002, the junta bought 122 mm howitzers from North Korea. From China Northern Industries Corporation, it bought fifteen large radars for air force use. These radars were installed at Mingaladon Air Force base; Namsan Air Force base; the radar base at the top of Nat-ye-gan Mountain in Ann Township; Hainggyi Island radar base; and Koko Island radar base. Moreover, for sea and coastal security the regime installed naval-use radars, on Pyin Wain, Take Soon and Ta-pin-hmaw islands in the Irrawaddy Division; on Kyun Thaya, Mayu, Man-aung and Nantha islands in Arakan State; and on eight islands in Tenasserim Division. In 2002, it also bought, from Russia, ten MIG-29s; as well as, in February 2005, missile launchers and trucks; and, in November 2006, 122 mm and 240 mm missiles.

Naval officers are enrolled in training courses in India and Russia. In India, they attend a Ship Simulator Course, and in Russia Anti-Ship Firing and Missile courses. From September 2007, the SPDC started to buy twenty-eight anti-ship missile carriers, in batches, and the related missiles. India together with China are also both selling and giving weapons to Burma. In 2007, India gave 76 mm and 75 mm mountain batteries and 120 mm anti-aircraft batteries, for ten anti-aircraft battalions.

Before 2000, there were only two artillery divisions in Burma. By 2004, the heavy weapons force had been expanded to ten artillery divisions and one rocket division.

Since the move of the military headquarters to Pyinmana, fiber optic cables have been used to communicate with the regional commands. A Wide Area Network (WAN) is used to connect strategic locations including the defense perimeter of Naypyidaw, the radar bases in Rangoon Division, the air force bases, the naval bases, etc. In addition, for the defense of Pyinmana, the ten battalions of MOC 6 are posted in the area. An anti-aircraft battalion is stationed at Taung Nyo in the Pegu Yoma range, another anti-aircraft battalion is to the east of Wegyi and Thawutti, and a number of anti-aircraft missiles are based in Pyinmana itself. For additional security for Naypyidaw, two armored battalions are stationed between Pyawbwe and Pyinmana towns, and three artillery battalions and the No. 901 Artillery Operation Command are in the Bawnetgyi-Payagyi area, in Pegu Division.

For signal communications security, the SPCD is developing its own wireless systems. Prior to 2006, XD-D6M machines were used. They could generate wavelengths of from .01 to 99 meters, and the signal could be intercepted easily. For that reason, the SPDC instructed the Armed Forces Main Communications Factory to produce new devices. In 2006, the factory created a new wireless device, with Chinese technical assistance, and it was tentatively named 2006M1. The new machines produce wavelengths of from .00001 to .00009 meters. It is reportedly quite difficult to intercept messages sent over the new machines.

The SPDC is also developing computer software to replace the manual firing programs for the 76 mm and 120 mm artillery, mortars, 25 Pounder and 105 mm howitzers, etc. There has also been software research for forward observation systems both from the ground and the air.

The defense industry factories No. 16 and 19 have been extensively modified so that they may produce spare parts. (Chinese and Russian weapons are notorious for regularly needing replacement parts, and the weapons also wear out more quickly in the tropics.) The SPDC had Chinese and North Korean experts modify factory No. 14 so that it is able to produce medium-range rockets. Construction of factory No. 14 was started in 2000 in Ngapeh Township of Magwe Division and it is believed to be in operation. Approximately 3,000 military engineers are working in the factory. (Note: Our last report estimated that it would be five years before the SPDC could produce medium-range rockets, but it referred to Russian-made guided rockets, so this could be a separate project.)

Conclusion

The fact that the SPDC is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons (not to mention all of its other programs) should make the leaders of Thailand, and the world, extremely concerned. The appeasement policy of the Thai government and the International Community towards the junta must be reversed. The SPDC is a threat of the greatest severity. It must be stopped. Since the Security Council, with Russian and Chinese vetoes, is unable to act, there must be an alternative solution. The only real options are for the U.S., either alone or with other concerned nations (Thailand?), to assist the people of the country to free themselves, using whatever means are required.

At the moment, though, there is a conspiracy of silence even to acknowledge this threat. Thailand, the U.S. and other nations are preoccupied with other problems. There is no desire to recognize publicly another new crisis. We therefore must force the issue.

We at Dictator Watch recognize the need for the media to confirm its sources and to only publish news after it has been verified. But, we also understand that there is such a thing as investigative journalism. For situations as serious as this, we are surprised that there are apparently not major investigations underway, by leading media outlets. After all, there are innumerable dissatisfied people inside the SPDC, including many who should have knowledge of the intelligence that we have revealed. It should not be that difficult to secure independent confirmation.

Our reports to date have served to alert the Burmese, NGO and intelligence communities, but because there has been no major media coverage the world at large is as yet uninformed. Most importantly, this lack of coverage means that political leaders, in Thailand, the U.S., at the U.N., etc., can continue to act as if there is not a problem.

The fact that the new U.S. Burma law requires the Secretary of State to prepare a report on the SPDC’s programs for weapons of mass destruction is a good start, and something to which we would be pleased to contribute. However, a threat of this severity requires more than a report.

http://www.dictatorwatch.org/articles/russianintel2.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 8, 2008 at 3:05 am

Sudan indictment seen as ray of hope

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Jul 15, 08 | 11:16 am

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague were welcomed by a broad section of human rights activists from Eastern Africa and the rest of the continent with applause.

The past conflict of the Arabic North with the African Southern Sudan, in which militias and Khartoum troops are alleged to have committed grave human rights violations, has cost millions of innocent African lives at the time. Only once militarily stalled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and forced into a negotiated peace agreement, did Bashir’s attention then turn with a vengeance to Darfur, where his goons committed yet more acts of genocide. And once again these crimes against humanity were carried out and supported by their Arabic killer militias which the regime armed, wound up and let loose on helpless African women and children.

While Bashir is not likely to appear in court while hanging on as regime leader, he is expected to be eventually caught and appear at the ICC, where he can join the ranks of other war criminals under indictment or already in standing trial.

Meanwhile, the move also gives hope that the ICC will be able to do what the UN Security Council this week again failed to do with the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

China, incidentally also supporting Bashir, almost unconditionally in exchange for almost all of Sudan’s oil and other trade benefits and reportedly violating a UN arms embargo by supplying the Khartoum regime, while Russia again stand exposed to support a criminal regime in the face of overwhelming evidence of their crimes for political and economic advantages.

China, with no democratic credentials, and Russia, with very limited democratic credentials, have set themselves apart from civilized societies by using their veto at the Security Council vote in support of Mugabe’s killer regime.

However, the ICC can independently issue arrest warrants against Mugabe and his key hoodlums, which would effectively bar them from traveling abroad, where they could then be arrested and handed over to the court in The Hague for trial.

Unilateral sanctions from the West are also still a viable option, including giving some warnings to Mugabe’s closest allies in the neighboring countries to compel them expedite their own intervention for resolving the crisis unless they too want to be named and shamed.

The Sudan development serves also as a warning to other goon regimes, like the one in Burma that their clock is winding down and justice, while often slow and delayed, is eventually sure in coming.

http://travelvideo.tv/news/more.php?id=15028_0_1_0_M

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

RUSSIA-BURMA NUCLEAR INTELLIGENCE REPORT

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By Roland Watson
June 26, 2008

We have new, disturbing, and detailed intelligence about the assistance Russia is providing Burma’s dictatorship, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), on its nuclear program and more generally its military modernization. This new information both confirms earlier intelligence that we have published, and expands what is known about the overall program.

Nuclear reactor and uranium mining

It has been widely reported that Russia is going to provide Burma a nuclear reactor, for so-called “research” purposes. We have received information that the SPDC has now purchased the 10 MW reactor. It is not new, but is reportedly in good condition. It is being dismantled, transported to Burma, and rebuilt. While we cannot confirm that it has arrived, our sources say that installation is due to be completed by December this year. (We have previously reported that North Korean technicians will assist with the construction.)

The reactor will be built at a site some ten kilometers from Kyauk Pa Toe, in Tha Beik Kyin township, approximately one hundred kilometers north of Mandalay near the Irrawaddy River.

In return for the reactor and other services, a Russian government mining company has received concessions to mine gold, titanium and uranium. There are two gold mining sites: in Kyauk Pa Toe; and in the mountains to the right of the Thazi-Shwe Nyaung railway line from Mandalay Division to Southern Shan State in the Pyin Nyaung area.

Titanium is also being mined, or derived from the same ore, at Kyauk Pa Toe.

Uranium is being mined at three locations: in the Pegu-Yoma mountain range in Pauk Kaung Township of Prome District (aka Pyi); in the Paing Ngort area in Mo Meik Township in Shan State; and at Kyauk Pa Toe.

The reactor site has been chosen because of its proximity to the Tha Beik Kyin and Mo Meik uranium mines. It is likely that the gold mining operation at the former will be used as cover, to conceal the nuclear facilities.

We have previously reported, from different sources, that the SPDC has a yellowcake mill somewhere in the Tha Beik Kyin area. Now we know the exact location (or at least enough information to find it with satellite imagery).

The reactor has been publicized as being for research purposes, meaning research on nuclear power generation. We believe that the SPDC has no real interest in generating electricity, or at best that this is a secondary consideration, and that the primary purpose is atomic weapons development. Our sources say that the SPDC expects to have full nuclear capability within ten years.

Russia is presumably supplying the reactor fuel as well. While Burma has uranium ore, and mills to convert it to yellowcake, this must be enriched to create the fuel, typically using cascades of gas centrifuges. We have received one report that the SPDC has begun a centrifuge program, at the South Nawin Dam, but this is unconfirmed. Barring this operation, the source of the fuel therefore must be Russia.

Note: Locating the reactor at Kyauk Pa Toe really only makes sense if there are plans to build an enrichment facility there. This way you would have the full industrial cycle in close proximity: mine, mill, enrichment, and reactor.

What is perhaps most disturbing about Russia’s program with the SPDC is that it is identical to the Soviet Union’s assistance that propelled North Korea to become a nuclear power. Why, with the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, is Russia still helping rogue regimes proliferate? The surface answer of course is money, in this case in the form of natural resources, but the deeper question remains. Russia is considered to be a democracy. What would the people of the country think of their leaders giving such help to the likes of the SPDC and Than Shwe?

In 1965, the Soviet Union gave North Korea a 2 MW reactor, which was upgraded in 1973 to 8 MW. It also supplied fuel through at least this period. North Korea then went on to construct a much larger reactor, and in the 1980s began weapons development. This included building separation facilities to obtain plutonium, and high explosives detonation tests. (We have received reports that the SPDC has already conducted such tests, in the Setkhya Mountains southeast of Mandalay.) At some point North Korea also began its own uranium enrichment program, to produce weapons grade material, and the U.S. confronted the country about this in 2002. This means that the North has two different sources of fissile material for weapons, reactor plutonium and enriched uranium.

The North detonated a small atomic weapon, with a yield of less than one kiloton, in October 2006, using some of its plutonium. It is now reportedly about to disclose its nuclear assets, and also destroy its plutonium producing reactor, but the sticking point has been the enriched uranium. The North appears unwilling to discuss this (and at this point to disclose its weapons cache), which means that even with the destruction of the reactor and the plutonium stockpile (for the latter the size of which is subject to serious dispute), the North would retain the ability to produce weapons with the uranium. At the moment the U.S. appears willing to accept partial disclosure, i.e., of only the plutonium.

In addition to Russia, North Korean technicians have been helping Burma with its nuclear ambitions (and other weapons programs), and we have received information that the SPDC has given the North refined uranium in return, which may be destined for the enrichment program.

This is all very disturbing, all the more so because of the apparent weakness of the Bush Administration, which has been unwilling to press the North, and which refuses even to mention Burma (its nuclear program). It took North Korea forty years before it detonated a weapon. It will likely take the SPDC only a fraction of this period. Once the Burmese junta has atomic weapons, its rule will be entrenched, and its neighbors, foremost Thailand, will be seriously endangered.

Precision-guided munitions

We have also previously reported that Burma has a wide variety of missile installations, including large quantities of land-based SAMs; ship-launched missiles, both surface to air and surface to surface; weapons for its MIG 29s; and even short range ballistic missiles. We have now received information that while Burma formerly bought anti-aircraft weapons from the Ukraine, in 2007 it purchased four shiploads of such weapons from Russia. We have also learned that the SPDC has multi-tube mechanized rocket launchers from North Korea. (Note: these may be for use with the ballistic missiles, and if so they confirm our earlier intelligence.)

Moreover, Burma is researching the production of guided missiles, and with Russian assistance intends to build a rocket factory in Thazi Township. This will mark the latest step in a well-recognized proliferation of Russian precision-guided munitions in the Asia Pacific region. This class of weapons includes surface to air, to attack jets, and surface to surface to attack land-based targets and also ships. Cruise missiles fall within the category. We do not know which specific PGMs the factory intends to produce, only that they will be medium range guided rockets and that production is scheduled to begin within five years.

It is clear that the SPDC is intent on developing a strong defense against an international intervention, including foreign jets, helicopters and ships. Perhaps one reason why the U.S. and the French balked at dropping relief supplies following Cyclone Nargis was the risk of missile attack on their helicopters and ships.

Military modernization

We have previously noted that the Burma Army is weapons-deficient. It is clear that the extensive procurement program underway with Russia, as well as China, North Korea and others, is intended to rectify this. During the era of Ne Win and the BSPP (Burma Socialist Program Party), the junta established six weapons production facilities. There are now twenty-two, and clearly more are planned.

Coupled with the materiel acquisitions is a major educational program. There are more than 5,000 State Scholars in Russia, all of whom passed their Defense Services Academy class, a nine-month program in the Russian language, and an entrance exam in their specialty. (This is an increase from the 3,000 we previously reported.) They are candidates for either a masters (2 years) or doctorate (4 years – we previously reported 3 years for this degree). They study in Moscow or St. Petersburg, in the former in a suburb at the Moscow Air Institute. There are additional State Scholars from Burma in China, North Korea, Pakistan and India.

One of the more recent groups of scholars, Batch Seven, included 1,100 DSA officers. Their majors are as follows:

250 Nuclear science
100 Tunneling science
200 Rockets
100 Electronics
200 Computer science
100 Aircraft construction
150 Artillery

The students also learn other military subjects, including: tanks; maintenance; anti-aircraft training; ammunition production; fighter pilot training; naval craft construction; naval craft captaincy; and anti-terrorist training.

While it is clear that the overall modernization program will improve the SPDC’s preparedness against attack, the junta still has a significant problem with soldier morale. Many of the state scholars, who are an elite in the Tatmadaw, are not motivated and would seek asylum given the chance. Their stipends barely cover their expenses. The Russian language and their training programs are difficult. They are overworked and separated from the civilian population. Their visas prohibit them from buying air, train or long-distance bus tickets. When they return to Burma, some are used as Russian language teachers or as instructors at the SPDC’s Central Research and Training Unit, but many are sent to the front lines.

As an example, in January this year one scholar fled to the border of Finland, but was arrested by Russian intelligence agents when he used his cell phone to call his contact on the other side. There is widespread dissatisfaction at all levels within the SPDC, except perhaps the very top – although there is reportedly a split there as well, between Than Shwe and Maung Aye. While the new weapons systems improve the junta’s defense against an intervention, they still need operators. The SPDC is poised to fall, through an internal coup, and it is subject to a renewed popular uprising as well.

Acquiring a nuclear weapon would alter this equation somewhat, but really only by creating a new defense against an intervention, and this is as yet some years away, unless the SPDC acquires a warhead directly from North Korea. Still, any such development has to be prevented, which raises the question, yet again: what is the U.S. doing? Under geopolitical realism, the only concerns are national interests. On a superficial level, for the U.S. and Burma, these are limited to Chevron’s investment in Burma’s natural gas production and pipelines. A secondary interest is the concern of U.S. citizens of Burmese origin, but since this group is small it can effectively be ignored. It would seem, therefore, that all the Administration bluster notwithstanding, its only real policy objective for Burma is to protect Chevron, which corporation to bolster its case also makes large campaign donations.

The real direct national interest of the United States is to deny Burma nuclear weapons. It is not only North Korea, Iran and Syria that America (and the world) must contain. Having a nuclear-armed SPDC is an unacceptable risk. This trumps the need to assist a domestic corporation. Further, since Chevron is also a major cash source for the junta, which uses money as well as the direct transfer of natural resources to pay its weapons suppliers, it demands that the company be forced to divest.

http://www.dictatorwatch.org/articles/russianintel.html

Source: Dictator Watch & Burma Digest

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 27, 2008 at 9:55 am