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Posts Tagged ‘Shooting

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 (4 March 08)

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Myanmar robbers kill 5 in Suu Kyi’s neighbourhood
International Herald Tribune, France –
is also home to a state guesthouse expected to be used by UN special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, when he visits the former Burma on Thursday.

TO DO TODAY, TUESDAY MARCH 4
Pasadena Star-News, CA –
Whittier College will host a free event to foster awareness of current events in Burma (aka Myanmar) at 7 pm March 4 in the Memorial Chapel,

Art Instructor Jennifer Henbest de Calvillo Shares, Finds Lessons
Springdale Morning News, AR –
Out of all the places she’s lived, Henbest de Calvillo found Burma (or Myanmar), which she described as a Fourth World country, the most enlightening and

US system of measurement sinking below other countries
Current, MO –
Liberia and Myanmar (Burma) citizens also would have suffered from this tragedy. But still, why is the United States, a major global player, so far behind

Sichuan Alligator and the New Confucius
TripmasterMonkey.com, NY –
Right, and also it’s called crab Rangoon, and Rangoon is like nowhere in China—it’s in sort of Burma-slash-Myanmar. But it’s very popular in the midwest, …

Burmese and Indian traders to meet at international trade fair
Mizzima.com, India –
“We have received information that some more business delegates from Myanmar [Burma] are coming to visit but we have not yet received confirmation,” Das

Remembering Burma: Overturning the bowl
MorungExpress, India –
The junta’s stranglehold over Burma notwithstanding, the Myanmar Army may not be nearly as strong as is generally believed. General Shwe Mann, the army’s

Will ‘No’ votes even be counted?
Mizzima.com, India
ALTSEAN-Burma, in a statement released Saturday, argues that only votes in support of the junta’s constitution, which has yet to be seen publicly,

Myanmar Nation staff charged with press violations
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Mar 3, 2008 (DVB)–The editor and manager of the Myanmar Nation news journal appeared in court on Friday after authorities recently charged them with

Five killed in shooting near Suu Kyi’s house: Myanmar police
AFP –
YANGON (AFP) — Five people were killed in execution-style shootings in the wealthy Yangon neighbourhood where Myanmar‘s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is

 

UN Special Envoy Heading to Burma
Voice of America –
By VOA News The UN special envoy for Burma will leave New York Wednesday on his third trip to the military-ruled country. Ibrahim Gambari is expected to

 

Lawyer slams junta’s treatment of farmers
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
There are regular reports of farmers across Burma being forced to grow particular crops, having their land seized by the authorities, and having to sell

 

UN special envoy to arrive in Burma tomorrow
Democratic Voice of BurmaNorway –
A UN spokesperson said today that Gambari “hopes to stay as long as necessary and to consult with a broad range of representatives of Myanmar society,

 

 

Gambari to Visit Burma Thursday
The Irrawaddy News MagazineThailand –
Details of Gambari’s trip to Burma were not announced. “The special adviser of the secretary-general, Ibrahim Gambari, has been invited to travel to Myanmar

 

Laughing through the junta’s gag
Los Angeles Times, CA –
In the past, the junta that rules Myanmar — also known as Burma — has tried to shut them up too, hoping to intimidate them with prison terms,

 

Gambari set to return amid mounting skepticism
Mizzima.comIndia –
in Burma on Thursday March 6th. Hoping to stay “as long as necessary,” he will aim “to consult with a broad range of representatives of Myanmar society,

 

Rare Fatal Shooting in Myanmar’s Capital
The Associated Press –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A family of four and their maid were fatally shot at their house in a rare violent attack in Myanmar‘s capital, just down the street

 

UN envoy to visit Myanmar Thursday
AFP –
UNITED NATIONS, (AFP) — UN troubleshooter Ibrahim Gambari will return to Myanmar on Thursday to resume his bid to foster national reconciliation after the

 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 4, 2008 at 6:29 am