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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Tibet

World focus on Burma (25 November 2008)

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Burmese aid for post flood health care in Orissa
Mizzima.com, India –
Speaking on the occasion Kyi Thein said that in May this year when Burma was ravaged by Cyclone Nargis, the worst calamity in the country’s history, …

Prepaid card system for mobile phones in Burma soon
Mizzima.com, India –
An official at the Myanmar Post and Telecommunication told Mizzima that it is all set to introduce a prepaid card system for mobile users, …

Burma’s HIV/AIDS Crisis in Red Alert: MSF
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The Geneva-based humanitarian aid organization said in its latest report “A Preventable Fate: The Failure of ART Scale-up in Myanmar,” that the situation …

Enrile’s grim past casts a long shadow
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
He reduced the killings of human rights activists, lawyers, judges and journalists to nothing but a byproduct of insurgency. He even boasted to journalists …

Domestic migrant workers still vulnerable: HRW
Mizzima.com, India –
Human Rights Watch, in comments released yesterday, said the problem of abuse of domestic labor is predominantly directed at female employees of individual …

Plight of Abused Burmese Women Highlighted on International Women …
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The WLB also urged the UN to press the Burmese regime to investigate allegations of human rights abuses against women in ethnic areas. …

“Pull Them Out With Tweezers”
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“The government’s imprisonment of humanitarian aid workers sends the message that Burmese social organizations must follow the junta’s regulations whether …

Spy identified at opposition meeting
Mizzima.com, India –
… for Democracy and Development (NDD), among others residing in Kuala Lumpur. The meeting discussed and exchanged views on the current situation in Burma.

War on drugs takes a hit
RT, Russia –
A price has been paid: human rights groups and the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights report “widespread and systematic” killings of civilians by the …

Nigerian activists take on Chevron in the US
OneWorld.net, UK –
The Alien Tort Statute has been used in cases charging Unocal with violating the human rights of Burmese villagers during the construction of an oil …

Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: Russian Landmines
UNPO, Netherlands –
No halt for landmine use by Burma and Russia – Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and Karenni State suffer. Turkey, Greece and Belarus have all violated an …

• Freedom is first
Hamilton Spectator, Canada –
Barbarity in Burma (Myanmar) last week served as a reminder that, with or without Barack Obama, the global struggle for liberty will rage on long after …

Burma: UN Resolution Barely Pushed Through
UNPO, Netherlands –

A United Nations resolution on human rights in Burma has been approved but faces diplomatic opposition. The United Nations General Assembly’s Third …

Sakharov Prize at 20: For democracy – against oppression
European Parliament (press release), EU –
Burmese political party the National League for Democracy won the general election in 1990. Instead of its most prominent member Aung San Suu Kyi becoming …

The task of unification
Mizzima.com, India –
Dr. Sein Myint serves as the director of Policy Development of Justice for Human Rights in Burma, located in Maryland, USA. He is an Honorary Member of …

Vulnerability in the spotlight
Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia –

Alongside Hura and Wasif, critically acclaimed photographer James Whitlow Delano also presented his exhibit, “Burma, A Flameless Inferno”. …

Daewoo Aggravating Bay of Bengal Tensions
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Just as Daewoo certainly knew of the disputed waters they were entering, they are also well aware of the well-documented human rights abuses associated with …

Tibetan Exiles’ Meeting Produces Comparisons with Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
They fall out from time to time—most recently when the NCGUB failed to cooperate with the NCUB in its action against the Burmese junta seat at the United …

CNPC to invest in Sino-Burma oil, gas pipeline
Your Oil and Gas News (press release), UK –
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), parent of the country’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina will team up with Myanmar Oil and Gas …

New era for human rights
Boston Globe, United States –
… from how to rescue democracy promotion from the stain of Iraq to how best to pressure human-rights abusers such as Burma and Zimbabwe. …

Great Nations & Industry Captains Ignore Thugocracies in Burma …
OpEdNews, PA –
Many took part in protests against the ruling junta sparked by fuel and food price rises in August 2007. Zarganar led a group of entertainers who organised …

Remember, Aung San Suu Kyi’s disengagement is not her choice
guardian.co.uk, UK –
There are several misinterpretations and failures to contextualise in the article on Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (Not such a hero after all, …

The Big Question: Who are the Elders, and can they do anything to …
Independent, UK –
… former Irish president and UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and, in absentia, Burmese democracy activist Aung Sun Suu Kyi. …

Moulamein – Culture and History
The Age, Australia –
Some claim the town’s name is Aboriginal and some argue it is an Indian word (Moulmein is a seaport in Burma), though the translation is consistently given …

US taps online youth groups to fight crime, terrorism
AFP –
The list of organizations due to attend include the Burma Global Action Network, a human rights movement spurred into action by the ruling junta’s crackdown …

Rebel vigil talks with Myanmar
Calcutta Telegraph, India –
24: India and Myanmar have agreed to enhance security co-operation and border vigil to check Northeast insurgent groups that have bases in the region. …

Human Rights undermines public safety, says Tory
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –
“Terrible human rights abuses in the world are taking place as we sit here today – in Zimbabwe, in Iran, in Sudan, in Burma. …

India, Myanmar to up security cooperation
Indian Express, India –
New Delhi, November 24 : Emphasising the need for “greater vigilance” at the border, India and Myanmar agreed to “enhance security cooperation to combat …

Good to speak about it. Even better to apply it!
FIDH (Communiqué de presse), France –
In 1948 the then UN member states adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. “Never again” were the words they proclaimed at the end of a conflict …

India-Burma holds another round of bilateral talks
Mizzima.com, India –
by Mungpi New Delhi – Burma and India on Sunday concluded the 9th foreign office consultation agreeing to cooperate in wide range of bilateral issues and to …

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 3:29 am

World focus on Burma (20 November 2008)

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More than 20 activists were sentenced in Burma on Thursday. A popular Burmese Hip-Hop singer Zay …

Biz Trends: Refugees find home, jobs here
ReporterNews.com, TX –
Refugees arrive from numerous countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iraq, Iran and Sudan. To date, the IRC has resettled …

Burmese Child Soldier Returns Home
自由亞洲電臺, Washington DC –
Human rights groups and the United Nations have repeatedly cited Burma as possibly having the largest number of child soldiers in the world. …

ASEAN for Economic Rescue
Prensa Latina, Cuba –
… are analyzing on Thursday in this capital an economic rescue for regional countries with financial problems composed of Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), …

Estonia Condemns Punishment of Democracy Supporters in Myanmar
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
The Estonian Foreign Ministry united with the European Union’s standpoint that condemns the decision of Myanmar’s (Burma’s) military regime to sentence more …

MYANMAR: Cyclone-hit monasteries in need
IRINnews.org, NY –
Monasteries play a pivotal role in Burmese society and frequently function as schools to thousands of underprivileged children. According to the Post-Nargis …

Charitable Donations Resist Credit Crunch
WebitPR (press release), UK –
… as part of a charitable campaign to support children and families devastated by the natural disasters in China and in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. ..

Burmese woman shares escape story
Prague Post, Czech Republic –

… borders in the trunk of a passenger car, Suizi Bawitlung and her family faced seemingly insurmountable odds when fleeing their native Burma, or Myanmar. ..

Burma: blogger and poet transferred to remote prisons
Reporters without borders (press release), France –
Sentenced to 20 years in prison by a special court in Insein prison on 10 November, Nay Phon Latt has been moved to a prison in Pa-an, the capital of the …

Illegal gambling website doesn’t pay off
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –
He began his empire nearly 10 years ago in Burma, which borders Yunnan and where many Chinese go to bet in casinos as gambling is illegal in China. …

Military regime puts popular rapper behind bars
First Post, UK –
… the 88 Generation Students group, is now behind bars, including leader Min Ko Naing and the iconic former deputy of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Youth request junta for permission to meet Suu Kyi
Mizzima.com, India –
The youth also requested in their letter that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi be allowed to come to party headquarters to receive homage paid by these youths,” he said …

ASEAN members to join Army shoot meet in Tarlac
ABS CBN News, Philippines –
ASEAN-member countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Taiwan, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. …

I Live Here puts human face on oppression
Georgia Straight, Canada –
… where many Chechens have fled the ongoing violence in their own republic; Burma, which many have left for Thailand because of military oppression; …

Hip-hop singer Zeyar Thaw given 6 years
Mizzima.com, India –
GW released an anti-junta album, in cooperation with the clandestine band Freedom Fighter, in which ‘Rise up Burma’ and ‘No No No’, an anti-constitutional …

Unfriendly neighbors in Southeast Asia
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
An editor of the Bangkok Post raised this point when he exposed what Thai schools are teaching his daughter: “Like most Thais, she feels Burma is fierce and …

Sino-Burmese Pipeline Work to Begin Soon
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“The long-awaited China-Myanmar [Burma] pipeline is expected to provide an alternative route for China’s crude imports from the Middle East and Africa and …

Refugee family still hasn’t made it to city
Owen Sound Sun Times, Canada –
Predominantly members of the Karen ethnic group, 810 refugees from Burma, now renamed Myanmar, have been accepted for resettlement in Canada. …

Economic crisis as a force for change
Mizzima.com, India –
By the harsh sentencing of activist leaders, essentially a life term behind bars, the military generals in Burma have mocked the world by openly brutalizing …

5 Generation Wave activists sentenced
Mizzima.com, India –
All are members of Generation Wave, which has been advocating for an uprising to topple the military junta in Burma.

Hip-Hop Performer among Latest Victims of Court Crackdown
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The Burmese authorities transferred 15 of the sentenced prisoners, including the well-known activist Min Zaya and 1l other leading members of 88 Generation …

Experts examine role of ethics in medical research
Nigerian Tribune, Nigeria –
For example, the question of the violation of human rights in Thailand, Nepal and Burma. Also, being raised is the issue of the non-binding nature of some …

Sino-Burmese Pipeline Work to Begin Soon
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
“The long-awaited China-Myanmar [Burma] pipeline is expected to provide an alternative route for China’s crude imports from the Middle East and Africa and …

China revives Burma pipeline plan
BBC News, UK –

… market giant Petrochina, would manage and own a majority share in the joint project with Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise of Burma, the Japanese paper said. …

Standoff in the Bay of Bengal
ISN, Switzerland –
… Bangladesh deployed warships and land forces along its border with Burma (Myanmar) in early November over the latter’s bid to explore oil and gas in a …

For Bush, Asia Pacific Summit Will be More Than a Swan Song
CNSNews.com, VA –
Talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao will likely deal with North Korea, Iran, Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, as well as human rights and religious freedom in …

US President to Discuss Tibet with Hu Jintao
Tibetan Culture & News Online, UK –
In his talks with Hu, Bush also expects to discuss Iran’s suspect nuclear program, turmoil in Zimbabwe and Sudan, pressure on Burma’s military rulers to …

Burma Falls Off UN Agenda
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

… Council at a time when the Burmese military junta has been indulging in one of the worst ever crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in the country. …

What happened to Mayateh Maranoh?
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
The section has attracted growing interest from human rights lawyers and the relatives of illegally detained and disappeared persons in Thailand. …

US President to Discuss Tibet with Hu Jintao
Tibetan Culture & News Online, UK –
Dharamshala: The United States President George W Bush will discuss human rights issues in Tibet and the ongoing discussions between the envoys of His …

Bye Bye Freedom
Malaysia Today, Malaysia –
(Remember Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) 3) UMNO need not be answerable to anyone other than the one who gives the most contracts. 4) Laws are immaterial. …

China’s Gruesome Organ Harvest
FrontPage magazine.com, CA –
Those without passports make their way through Burma on motorcycles and back roads. Some have been questioned by UN case workers, but few have been …

UN, Asean Must Speak Up
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… statement expressing “deep concern” about the latest round of assaults on the dignity of Burma’s pro-democracy activists, while his Asean counterpart, …

What to do about Burma
Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong –
Without such a move from the US, Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Group of Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar’ will yield little. The most effective UN intervention …

A sea-route to North East soon!
Rediff, India –
Sittwe port on the Myanmar coast was not long ago a small village of fishing communities and farmers. Now, it could serve as a commercial sea-route to the …

NCGUB seeks ASEAN mobilization as human rights crackdown intensifies
Asian Tribune, Thailand –
… UN-backed Commission of Inquiry to investigate the military regime’s latest human rights violations. The call comes as Burma’s junta is intensifying its …

Nobel winners highlight education as tool for peace
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa –
In a joint statement, the Dalai Lama, former United States president Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, among others, …

Stop use of child soldiers: Rights group
Mizzima.com, India –
by Phanida Chiang Mai – Child soldiers continue to be used in armed conflicts in Burma, a rights group activists said. It called on the international …

A pernicious nexus Maoists, evangelists and jehadis
Organiser, India –
The goal of this organised nexus is to eliminate Hindus and Buddhists from political power from Fiji, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, …

Bush seeks APEC support for rescue plans
Ninemsn, Australia –
“The president will discuss issues of human rights and religious freedom, including the ongoing dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama” on the …

Myanmar court sentences student activists
CNN International –
A protester demonstrates in London to mark the the 20th anniversary of the Uprising in Burma, on August 8, 2008. Colleagues said Di Nyein Lin was one of …

Federation vows stricter monitoring of FOC vessels
ABS CBN News, Philippines –
FOC countries, according to ITF, include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Cayman Island, Comoros, Cyprus, …

SAUDI ARABIA BANS LAWYER FROM RECEIVING AWARD
IFEX, Canada –
I do not want the Burmese regime to find out. But I can tell you that these stories fill the pages of our reports and those of Human Rights Watch . …

Colombia and Guinea worst for unionists’ murders
OneWorld.net, UK –
Fourteen unionists were jailed in Morocco and seven in Burma, where the junta targeted union activists as part of its brutal crackdown on any moves for …

Fears grow over surge in trade union murders
guardian.co.uk, UK –
Fourteen unionists were jailed in Morocco and seven in Burma, where the junta targeted union activists as part of its crackdown on moves for democracy and …

CNPC to invest in Sino-Burma oil, gas pipeline
China Knowledge Online, Singapore –
CNPC will hold 50.9% stake in the project, while Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise will own the remaining. The Chinese oil producer will also be responsible to …

NCGUB seeks ASEAN mobilisation as human rights crackdown intensifies
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
The call comes as Burma’s junta is intensifying its campaign of detaining democracy supporters for lengthy sentences as a means of clearing the ground prior …

UN experts call for retrial of Myanmar activists
JURIST –
Despite the September release [JURIST report] of more than 9000 political prisoners, human rights groups estimate that more than 2100 Burmese remain …

Call for education to stop conflicts
The Press Association –
The Nobel Laureates, including former US President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, have issued their …

Press Briefing by Assistant to the President for International …
Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC –
And as the President has always done in all of his meetings with Chinese leaders, the President will discuss issues of human rights and religious freedom, …

Myanmar activist follows dad, grandfather to jail
The Associated Press –
Di Nyein Lin is a leader of the outlawed All Burma Federation of Students Union, to which several of the 88 Generation Students’ members belonged in 1988. …

Burma’s Jail News: Three Jailed Today
OpEdNews, PA –

Ko Kyaw San was given 4 years imprisonment. Burma Jail News is not closed yet. Question: How many activists in Burma will be jailed in this month?

Artistic Expressions Promote Human Rights
NewsBlaze, CA –
In Burma, comedian U Maung Thura (better known by his stage name, Zarganar, or “The Tweezers”) uses sly humor to mock his country’s ruling military junta …

Thailand heads back to the old days
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand –
It’s a disgrace that will turn Thailand into the new Burma. If there’s anything that represents pure treason, it is this. Thailand is finished. …

Ivanhoe likely to resume mining in December
Mizzima.com, India –
by Mizzima News Monywa (Mizzima) – Myanmar Ivanhoe is likely to resume its copper mining activities in Monywa next month following suspension of production …

UN experts condemn Burma trials
BBC News, UK –
The junta says the 2010 elections will be part of its “road map to democracy”. But opposition figures and governments, including the European Union, …

Writer Hnin Pan Ein flees to border
Mizzima.com, India –
… being frequently intimidated and harassed by authorities inside Burma. After her husband, Nay Oo, the South Dagon Township National League for Democracy …

World focus on Burma (18 September 2008)

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Cyber attacks cripple opposition Myanmar media
International Herald Tribune, France –
“We think it has something to do with the Saffron Revolution,” the anti-government protests by thousands of Buddhist monks in Myanmar on Sept. …

Websites of three Burmese news agencies in exile under attack

Burmese activists protest on 20th anniversary of coup
Mizzima.com, India –
… and Japan held demonstrations condemning the junta for its military coup 20 years ago and call for the immediate political reformation in Burma.

UNITED NATIONS POWER BALANCE SHIFTING TO CHINA, INDIA, RUSSIA …
SanFranciscoSentinel.com, CA –

A sea change in the balance of power in favor of China, India, Russia and other emerging states is wrecking European and US efforts to entrench human rights …

Haul Generals before the ICC: rights groups
Mizzima.com, India –
Villagers are too weak Burma is one of the poorest countries in the world,” continues the organization’s onslaught against the junta. …

Interview: Pinheiro calls for new strategy on Burma
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
I think the creation by the secretary-general of a group of friends of Myanmar to support the activities of Mr. Gambari was a good initiative. …

NLD chairman sentenced to two years’ hard labour
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Sep 18, 2008 (DVB)–San Chaung township National League for Democracy chairman U Thet Wei has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour. …

NLD youth members to quit over committee reform
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“One of the people chosen by the chairman, named Ko Aye Tun, said in the meeting that there is no Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the NLD,” she said. …

Tibet: One diaspora, two paths
ISN, Switzerland –

… among others, wondered if the protests were linked to two other issues that had made the headlines in the preceding months: Kosovo and Burma (Myanmar). …

A civil past and a political future?
Prague Post, Czech Republic –

By Markéta Hulpachová   Days after returning from a covert visit to a cyclone-stricken delta in south Burma, Šimon Pánek sits in his Prague office, …
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Bulgaria Parliament Officially Endorses Prague Declaration
Sofia News Agency, Bulgaria –
The conference also focused on the necessity of EU’s support for those who fight for freedom in countries like Cuba, Belarus and Burma irrespective of any …

Christians launch campaign for lasting change in Burma

ChristianToday, UK –

Change for Burma! aims to raise public awareness of the brutality of the military regime, which it says is “guilty of every possible human rights violation” …

On eve of Saffron Revolution anniversary, Burma’s exiled news …

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

Burmese journalists—both inside and outside the country—have been worried about how Burma’s junta might deal with the anniversary of what has come to be …

A sense of foreboding

National Post, Canada –

We hadn’t forgotten Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ayatollahs, the jihadists, AIDS in Africa, Russia in Georgia, the junta in Burma, infant mortality, …

Freedom in US also brings challenges

Indianapolis Star, United States –

Burma has been renamed Myanmar by the country’s military dictatorship — though many people opposed to that regime continue to call the country by its older …

Singapore: Singapore Asks Burmese Activists To Leave The Country
Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –
“Some of these Myanmar (Burmese) individuals have enjoyed education subsidies and other benefits but have chosen to repay this with disrespect for our laws …

What’s changed in Burma in the past 20 years?
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
They are also beginning to lose confidence in the 20-year-long push for dialogue led by Aung San Suu Kyi. “Metta [negotiation] is not enough, armed struggle …

Uncle Sam, Sugar Daddy
Forbes, NY –
Since the overthrow of Saddam, America has increasingly sidelined the push for democracy, abandoned such terms as “regime change” and stooped to haggling …

Bo Kyi to receive human rights award
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Bo Kyi welcomed the award as an acknowledgement of the work of many activists working for human rights in Burma and said it could bring more international …

Burmese monk, exiled after making stand, adjusts to American life
Oakland Tribune, CA –
Clerics in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, depend on community alms for their survival. And they don’t ride bikes. “This is the United States,” Kovida …

AI seeks global pledge to curb small arms sale
Pakistan Dawn, Pakistan –
Whether used by the military in Myanmar to disperse protesters in September 2007, or by Somali armed factions terrorising the streets of Mogadishu, …

Thursday, September 25
International Herald Tribune, France –
1988 – Security forces kill 12 people and injure five others in Rangoon, Burma, as political unrest continues. 1992 – The first contingent of a 600-member …

Rangoon rent-a-witness
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
Among the items seized from Win Maw were some legally-published books, some pictures of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, which are also legal, and a computer hard …

Campaign calls for lasting change for Burma
Inspire Magazine, UK –
The campaign also came one day before the 20th anniversary of the seizure of power by Burma’s current military junta, the latest in a succession of military …

Monk attemps suicide at most sacred temple
guardian.co.uk, UK –
Associated Press, Johannesburg A Buddhist monk slashed his throat in a suicide attempt at Burma’s most sacred temple, the scene of several pro-democracy …

Global Women founds endowment, sets priorities at board meeting
Associated Baptist Press, FL –
… on “creating global friendships among women for shared learning and service while meeting needs of women in Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Central Asia, …

Thailand’s Crippled Government Appoints New Prime Minister
Scoop.co.nz, New Zealand –
… on Tuesday (September 16) after he failed to appear at a corruption trial for allegedly arranging a government loan to Burma’s military regime in 2004. …

It’s our collective duty to stand up against abortion
Daily Nation, Kenya –
That’s why the world condemned the despotic Burmese military junta for refusing to allow full-scale international humanitarian intervention to help victims …

World focus on Burma (27 August 2008)

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Liechtenstein Joins International Economic Sanctions In The …
Mondaq News Alerts (subscription), UK –
… persons, and organizations, based on the Sanctions Act: the States include Iraq, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Myanmar/Burma; …

Bogalay farmers threatened with land confiscation
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Aug 27, 2008 (DVB)–Farmers in cyclone-hit Bogalay township in Irrawaddy division have said that local authorities are threatening to confiscate their land …

Cambodian MP urges UN, ASEAN to fulfill Burma promise
Mizzima.com, India –
… to pay a personal visit to Burma and find a realistic solution to the political crisis in the country. Meanwhile, the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar …

Ore. scientists announce finding of oldest gecko
KTVZ, OR –
Only a foot and part of a tail are in the amber, found in Myanmar, formerly Burma. The finding is at least 40 million years older than the previous …

Gambari meets Indonesian President – ASEAN divided
Mizzima.com, India –
… with Myanmar’s Senior General Shwe.” However, Gambari has recently received mixed messages from ASEAN members Indonesia and Thailand as to what Burma’s …

Politicians defend Daw Suu for not meeting envoy
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“The problems Burma is facing now could be easily resolved if Daw Suu and Than Shwe could have a talk.” Veteran politician Thakin Chan Htun said he …

More Deaths Reported from Famine in Chin State
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By LAWI WENG Famine deaths are still being reported from a region of Burma’s northwestern Chin State, where inhabitants of 45 villages are being forced to …

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… Gambari on Wednesday, said that the UN envoy’s mission to Burma had not failed yet, and that the “Group of Friends on Myanmar” still supported his role.

Arrested Monks Held in Rangoon Detention Center
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Meanwhile, the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)—the AAPP—reported on Tuesday that at least seven detained monks, …

Dialogue Suu Kyi’s Real Motive
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
She clearly believes a dialogue—with compromise on both sides—is the most effective chance to establish real democracy in Burma, which she has called for …

Myanmar: UN envoy holds talks with Indonesian officials
MyNews.in, India –
The United Nations envoy to Myanmar held talks today in Jakarta with senior Indonesian officials as part of his continuing consultations with regional …

Terror, trade to top BIMSTEC ministers’ agenda
SINDH TODAY, Pakistan –
The foreign ministers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand will be participating in the discussions Friday. …

NLD concerned by rumours of Daw Suu hunger strike
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
… special envoy Ibrahim Gambari in his reconciliation efforts and to show that the people of Burma do not accept the unilateral actions of the government. …

Room at the Table hosts meal for Myanmar
Lexington Minuteman,  USA –
On May 3 the country of Myanmar (formerly Burma) was struck by Cyclone Nargis with devastating results. The winds and rain took the lives of an estimated …

Chin: WFP Assists Victims in Chin State
UNPO, Netherlands –
WFP’s Burma country director Chris Kaye said the organisation has been involved in joint efforts in Chin state, which has been hit by food shortages due to …

Communicating Culture
Boise Weekly,  USA –
Refugees from Bhutan, Burundi and Burma shuffled in their chairs as interpreters explained how to fill out American job applications. …

Indonesia hopes Myanmar dialog to be resumed
Antara, Indonesia –
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian government has expressed hope the dialog between Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the government under …

Laos: Mekong floods leave four dead
CSR Asia, Hong Kong –
Some local observers suggested that the steady influx was due to the impact of Cyclone Nargis which hit Burma at a time when inflation and unemployment were …

Lack of funds threatens Free Burma Rangers’ aid efforts
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Aug 27, 2008 (DVB)–Relief efforts by the Free Burma Rangers to help cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy delta are under threat due to funding shortages, …

Indonesia says Gambari mission has not failed in Myanmar
Xinhua, China –
27 (Xinhua) — Indonesia considered that the UN mission in Myanmar carried out by its special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has not failed yet, supporting the envoy …

Myanmar Plans October Gem Auction
Diamonds.net, NY –
Myanmar relies on its precious gems trade as a key source of revenue and continues to sell to neighboring China and Thailand. Previous auctions in June and …

Myanmar Plans October Gem Auction IDEX Online, Israel –

Nepal’s rulers must release child soldiers

Turkish Daily News (subscription), Turkey –

We’re working on one country, which has some difficulty in this protocol; but we think that it’s within reach” Myanmar’s detained democracy leader, …

President Yudhoyono receives UN special envoy for Myanmar

Antara, Indonesia –

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received the UN secretary general`s special envoy for Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, …

Clooney helps Darfur victims

Adelaidenow, Australia –

Not On Our Watch has already raised more than $8 million to help victims of the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and the cyclone in Burma, …

China’s Tibet and Indonesia’s West Java hit by powerful earthquakes

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

… people were killed by a 5.9-magnitude quake which hit southwestern Yunnan province on Thursday (August 21) near China’s border with Myanmar (Burma). …

Reports of Daw Suu Kyi’s refusal of daily food supplies creating …

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus has further urged for a comprehensive assessment of Daw Aung Suu Kyi’s health must be carried out as soon as …

IRINnews.org, NY –

… regularly listens to the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) , which is broadcast from Norway and is largely critical of Myanmar’s military-led government. …

Freedom of Religion Poses A Problem for Travelers

Howard University The Hilltop (subscription), DC –

As Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympics, China’s stance on religious freedom faced much scrutiny from human rights groups and world leaders. …

Gambari’s Myanmar Visit “Disappointing,” UK Mission Says, UN Takes …

Inner City Press, NY –

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 — “Disappointing” is how the UN’s Ibrahim Gambari’s trip to Myanmar was described Tuesday by UK Ambassador John Sawers. …

Taking Names

Washington Times, DC –

Not on Our Watch has raised more than $7 million to help victims of both the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and the cyclone in Burma, …

RP docs, others can practice in ASEAN now
Inquirer.net, Philippines –
Its other members are military-ruled Burma (Myanmar), oil-rich Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The group aims to achieve …

Burma’s Suu Kyi ‘on hunger strike’

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s detained opposition leader, is said to be on a hunger strike in protest at her country’s brutal military regime. …

The Peking games
guardian.co.uk, UK –
Scanning these pages the other day, my eye was caught by a reference to “Burma (or Myanmar as it should be known)”. But should it? …

Myanmar: The war criminal was elevated by the United Nations, to …

UN envoy to Myanmar who is a pro-military regime

OpEdNews, PA –
Sani Abacha is like Burma military leader, Than Shwe, who has continued suppression of the free press , and has overseen the detention of journalists and …

UN:Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, concluded his six-day visit to Myanmar, and today he was in Bangkok and met with the …

UN : Top UN envoy concludes latest visit to Myanmar
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
The senior United Nations envoy to Myanmar today wrapped up his six-day visit to the Asian country by meeting with senior members of the Government and the …

People Magazine –
… of the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and the cyclone in Myanmar (also known as Burma), according to executive director Alex Wagner. …

Samak’s remarks on Burma do more damage
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
By The Nation Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s recent comments on Burma were ridiculous, even bordering on absurdity. It showed his total ignorance of the …

George Bush’s Legacy in Burma
Asian Tribune, Thailand –
Amidst world political tensions, Burma analysts and observers have begun to question if the Bush’s eight years in office have done enough to advance a …

Suu Kyi ‘on hunger strike’
Independent, UK –
An NLD spokesman in Burma said he could not confirm whether she had stopped eating but that bags of food delivered to a checkpoint outside her house in …

World focus on Burma (10 August 2008)

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Thousands raised for cyclone aid
BBC Birmingham, UK –
An appeal to raise money to help people affected by Cyclone Nargis in Burma has raised £35000. The cyclone struck in May, killing an estimated 130000 people …

Her party told a UN envoy visiting Myanmar earlier this month that the junta’s decision to keep her under house arrest for a sixth year violates her human …

The real challenge for China: what does it do after the Games?

Al-Arabiya, United Arab Emirates –

… nuclear concerns, but is increasingly criticised for its silence on Burma and Darfur, treatment of the Tibetan crisis and its own human rights record. …

Burmese imports horrify customer

Cape Argus (subscription), South Africa –

In December Weekend Argus ran an article about goods pouring into the country from Burma. The country, also known as Myanmar, has been slammed for gross …

Burma’s detained pro democracy leader granted meeting with lawyer

Radio Australia, Australia –

Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed a rare meeting with her lawyer to discuss her ongoing house arrest. …

YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed a rare meeting with her lawyer to discuss her ongoing house arrest, …

China celebrates remarkable transition at XXIX Olympiad; Economy …

FinFacts Ireland, Ireland –

China is run by a dictatorship and there remain concerns about human rights but it would be foolish to ignore the raising of hundreds of millions of people …

Myanmar Refugees Changing Face Of Connecticut

Hartford Courant, United States – 4 hours ago

… called the “slow genocide” of the Karen minority ethnic group by the military junta that rules Myanmar. The country changed its name from Burma in 1989. …

Devastation in Burma is far starker than portrayed

Boston Globe, United States –

“The situation in Myanmar remains dire,” said Chris Kaye, who heads relief operations for the UN World Food Program in Burma, which the military junta …

China rebuffs Bush speech

Carlsbad Current Argus, NM –

By Steven Lee Myers First lady Laura Bush sits with students during a visit to a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border Thursday. …

Ceremony recalls end of war

Vernon Morning Star, Canada –

The first Canadian contingents landed in Hong Kong and fought hard throughout Malaya, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma (now Myanmar) and India. …

China vs internet – who will win?

The Age, Australia –

When people think of censorship in Asia, nations such as China, Burma, North Korea and Vietnam may leap to mind first. India, Indonesia and Thailand aren’t …

Little or nothing

Concord Monitor, NH –

… assistance to enable them to rebuild their lives,” said Andrew Kirkwood, who heads the aid agency Save the Children in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

Burmese need support from the west

WalesOnline, United Kingdom –

BURMESE comedian Maung Thura is facing trial for providing aid to victims of cyclone Nargis. Human rights in Burma may not be a normal topic for a column …

Press Freedom Group Airs Secret Radio as Olympics Begin

The Epoch Times, NY –

The political move of the communist authorities was seen as a gesture designed to gloss over China’s poor human rights record and paint a rosy picture for …

By Madalina Hubert Human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam asks rally attendees to wave at a Chinese embassy official who was filming the event from the …

Same old, same old

Malaysia Star, Malaysia –

… and social media networks such as Facebook, many people across the world are still trying to keep Myanmar (or Burma) on the table of public discourse. …

Rise up to curb knife culture, PM urges at book festival

guardian.co.uk, UK –

‘I want Aung San Suu Kyi not only to be released but to be in power in Burma. That’s one of the great causes of the 20th century, every country should be a …

Brown takes starring role at the Festival

Independent, UK –

Asked what his one wish would be before he finished in politics, he said: “I want [Burma’s democratically elected leader] Aung San Suu Kyi not only to be …

The hero of Ian Rankin’s Book Festival mystery … Gordon Brown

Sunday Herald, UK –

Burma particularly animated him, and he returned to the topic several times. He told the story of the pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Team Tibet rallies across the Golden

abc7news.com, CA –

The demonstration was organized by San Francisco Team Tibet, a coalition of pro-Tibetan human rights groups. “We’re here to voice our solidarity with the …

Myanmar protest ends in arrests

United Press International –

They were walking in silence through Taunggok, a town in the northwest of the country formerly known as Burma, when they were stopped by police, Naing said. …

Big Deal, Bigger Con

The Times, South Africa –

Another allegation is that a company linked to Ferrostaal in Germany is supplying weapons to the military junta in Burma. In South Africa, Ferrostaal has, …

The luck of the county

The Times, South Africa –

Q: I had planned to visit Myanmar (Burma) over December, but would not like to assist the regime that denied so many people aid after the recent tornado. …

Bush reiterates position on Myanmar

The National, United Arab Emirates –

The Chinese position is clear – democracy and freedom in Myanmar, often referred to by its former name, Burma, are an internal matter – and they believe the …

Agony of Burma’s dumped children

Times Online, UK –

IN a filthy destitute village, half an hour outside Rangoon, three-year-old Than Than Nues was dumped days after Cyclone Nargis had ravaged her home in …

This week’s top stories from around the world (Comedian tried)

Times Online, UK –

8 Burma One of Burma’s most popular comedians has been charged with public order offences after he helped victims of Cyclone Nargis, which killed tens of …

World focus on Burma (9 August 2008)

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The following is a transcript of President Bush’s weekly radio …

FOXNews –

During my time here, I’m expressing America’s deep concerns about freedom and human rights in China. This trip has reaffirmed my belief that men and women …

Laos, Bosnia War Crimes Trials: LPDR Condemned by Hmong National …

PressZoom (press release), Netherlands –

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was recently flown from the Serbian capital Belgrade to the The Hague where he will face trial before a UN …

Sacrifices of Prisoners of Conscience Should Not Be in Vain
NewsBlaze, CA –
The other panelists, who represented Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Eritrea and Uzbekistan, were all former prisoners of conscience or family members of people …

First Lady Laura Bush Urges Burma Reforms

NewsBlaze, CA –

“A lot of these families would rather go home, but because of the situation in Burma, they can’t,” Mrs. Bush told reporters during her August 7 visit to the …

The military junta that took control of Burma in September 1988 changed the name of the country to Myanmar in 1989. However, Maung Htoo said Canada is among …

Radio Address by the President to the Nation

MarketWatch –

During my time here, I’m expressing America’s deep concerns about freedom and human rights in China. This trip has reaffirmed my belief that men and women …

Burmese translator helps refugees find their way

WTTE, OH –

She was part of an ethinc minority in Myanmar, also known as Burma. She says she is still trying to find her own way around while she directs others. …

Burmese must be supported

Irish Times, Ireland –

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the democratic movement in Burma, has been placed under house arrest by the military regime since 1989

… changing its name to Myanmar. It is a ruthless military regime that has distinguished itself primarily for its brutal repression of the people of Burma, …

Asia recalls the repression of 8-8-’88 in Myanmar

AsiaNews.it, Italy –

About 100 demonstrators also gathered in front of the Burmese embassy, shouting “freedom for Burma, freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi”, and launching red paper …

Prominent Myanmar human rights activist arrested

International Herald Tribune, France –

AP YANGON, Myanmar: Police in Myanmar arrested a prominent human rights activist on the 20th anniversary of massive pro-democracy protests, a colleague of …

Supersize Games

Irish Independent, Ireland –

… Burma, Tibet, wherever, just be aware that you’re beating an old drum about the cords connecting an Olympic Games with the suppression of human rights. …

Thousands take part in global day of protest as Beijing Games open

Toronto Star, Canada –

… embassy in London was the focus for protests against the country’s treatment of people in Tibet, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Burma, also known as Myanmar. …

Myanmar frees most detained “8-8-88” marchers

路透中国, China –

The protest in the town of Taunggok was virtually the only one in the former Burma in memory of the nationwide revolt, eventually crushed by the army with …

Watching human rites

Reuters UK, UK –

Human Rights Watch put out a statement slamming China for its commercial and diplomatic ties to Myanmar’s junta on the 20th anniversary of the 8-8-88 …

Myanmar anniversary demonstrators freed

The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar authorities have released 43 demonstrators who held one of the country’s few protests marking the anniversary of the 1988 …

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Cyprus Mail, Cyprus –

Which other country in the world demands a UN Sec-Gen to ‘tell the truth’? The only people I can think of are despots and dictators – such as Burma’s …

Activists held at rally pver ’88 uprising

Los Angeles Times, CA –

The military government arrested 48 activists on a protest march to mark the 20th anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising in which an estimated 3000 people …

Burmese junta arrests 48 on uprising anniversary eve

TopNews, India –

: Burma”s military junta have arrested 48 activists during a protest march marking 20 years since the army crushed a pro-democracy uprising, …

Games’ opening day busy time for protests

San Francisco Chronicle, USA –

The Beijing Games have become a focus for activists critical of China on issues ranging from its human rights record and heavy-handed rule in Tibet, …

China stages a perfectly choreographed display

Aberdeen Press and Journal, UK –

Demonstrators from Tibet, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma joined forces to protest against human rights violations and China’s hosting of the Olympics. …

US first lady Bush tours Beijing’s Forbidden City

The Associated Press –

Mrs. Bush has become more outspoken herself over the years, especially on the issue of Myanmar, also known as Burma. The isolated Southeast Asian nation is …

Proud moment for sailor flying the flag

Irish Independent, Ireland –

Mr Kilgallen reminded the demonstration that China was a supporter of Burma’s ruthless military junta and had a deplorable human rights record. …

Beijing Olympics: Asia press comment

Inquirer.net, Philippines –

The South China Morning Post says it is time to turn the screw on Myanmar’s leaders. “Myanmar’s junta welcomes occasions like the Olympic Games. …

Staying Alive

TIME –

These protests inspired the mass demonstrations led by Burma’s monks, which captured the world’s imagination a month later. Jimmy is still in jail. …

The Moment

TIME –

In Bangkok, he praised Southeast Asia’s economic progress while slamming Burma for human-rights abuses. But the most urgent business was in Beijing, …

Beijing Olympics draws much concern of Myanmar people

Xinhua, China –

8 (Xinhua) — The Beijing Olympic Games has drawn much concern of Myanmar people over the last few days ahead of the opening ceremony of the world event in …

Beijing Olympics spark global protests

Special Broadcasting Service, Australia –

“The Olympics shouldn’t have been offered to China on the basis of their human rights record,” said Liawang Tsang, whose family fled Tibet nine years ago. …

The Government will continue to help the Burmese people in their …

Irish Times, Ireland –

… changing its name to Myanmar. It is a ruthless military regime that has distinguished itself primarily for its brutal repression of the people of Burma, …

Burmese ‘grateful’ for Irish support

Irish Times, Ireland –

Thanking the Lord Mayor for receiving the refugees, he pointed out that Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was a freewoman of Dublin city and that …

Protest marks Myanmar uprising annniversary

Peninsula On-line, Qatar –

Shouting “Free Burma” the protestors, brandishing the red and yellow flags of the Myanmar opposition, called for the release of political prisoners in the …

Bush chides China over human rights

Financial Times, UK –

By Chawadee Nualkhair in Bangkok US President George W. Bush condemned China’s treatment of political dissidents and pressed for an unfettered Chinese press …

The Nelson Mail, New Zealand –

On August 8, 1988, pro-democracy supporters in Burma, now known as Myanmar, took to the streets to call for an end to the country’s military dictatorship. …

Population paradox: Europe’s time bomb

Independent, UK –

Singapore, Taiwan and Burma are similar. The lowest is South Korea with only 1.1 children per couple. “South East Asia has plummeted to levels it took …

Hundreds march in Tokyo on 20th anniversary of Myanmar uprising

The News – International, Pakistan –

She happened to be in Myanmar — then known as Burma — to care for her ailing mother when the uprising erupted. On Aug 26, 1988, she spoke to the crowds …

Myanmar comic charged over cyclone aid

Daily Times, Pakistan –

YANGON: Myanmar’s most famous comedian has been charged in a secret court, along with a sports writer and two activists, for delivering aid to survivors of …

Burmese junta arrest 48 on uprising anniversary eve

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who met Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein in Beijing ahead of the Olympic Games, said he hoped Myanmar could sort out its …

New Yorkers Mark Olympics With Protests

New York Times Blogs, NY –

… to protest Chinese support of the military junta that has ruled Myanmar since 1962. Cristina Moon, executive director of 8/8/08 for Burma, …

Scots activist thrown out of China

The Herald, UK –

He said: “We are here together today because we need the Chinese government to talk about human rights, the situation in Tibet and media freedom. …

GulfNews, United Arab Emirates –

The promises about access made to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when he saw Myanmar’s head of state, Senior Gen Than Shwe, in late May have essentially …

Human Rights Call Sets Frosty Tone to Bush Trip

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

PRESIDENT George Bush arrived in Beijing amid an atmosphere of tension with China’s leaders over his high-profile criticism of the country’s human rights …

Reactions mixed on US Burmese ruby ban

National Jeweler Network, NY –

Mumbai, India—The recent US ban on rubies and jadeite from Myanmar (formerly Burma), including stones that were processed in third-party countries, …

Friday, August 8, 2008

Free Speech Radio News, CA –

… League for Democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate who remains under house arrest on the orders of leader General Than Shwe. …

8/8 – 20 years after the Burmese democracy protests

Foreign Policy (subscription) –

With all eyes on China this week, it’s refreshing to see George and Laura Bush noting that today is the 20th anniversary of pro-democracy protests in Burma …

Pro-Tibet protests europe-wide as Olympics open 08/08 20:30 CET

euronews, France –

… Union was beseiged in Brussels, with the Tibetan contingent joined by protestors also denouncing the military rulers of Myanmar, the former Burma. …

Arrests on anniversary on uprising

Radio New Zealand, New Zealand –

Activists outside Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, are marking the anniversary with demonstrations. The 1988 protests drew hundreds of thousands of people …

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

Tibet, Burma, Sudan and the colonisation of Africa are the issues routinely raised to keep the dragon in check; human rights the moral stick to beat the….

An Inescapable History

Harvard Crimson, MA –

… the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the CIA’s “black sites” hampered our ability to stem atrocities in countries like Sudan, Burma, …

Anniversary of the 1988 Popular Democratic Uprising in Burma

US Department of State, DC –

Twenty years ago today, the people of Burma bravely rose up together to call for the restoration of democracy in Burma and an end to misrule and the abuse …

BURMA: Expats Keep Democracy Hopes Alive

Inter Press Service (subscription), Italy –

By Marwaan Macan-Markar BANGKOK, Aug 8 (IPS) – Aung Moe Zaw still lives in the hope that democracy will take root in Burma, 20 years after hundreds of …

Masked activists in Cebu weigh in on China’s record

Sun.Star, Philippines –

… people of Tibet and Burma. They later broke their silence as they read “In the Quiet Land,” a poem by imprisoned Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Events mark ’88 Burma brutality

Howrah News Service, India –

The programmes were to focus on the brutal regime of the military junta in Burma and has seminars, talks, photo exhibition and also a candle vigil at the …

McDonald’s sponsorship of Games spurs protest

Taipei Times, Taiwan –

… a member of the Taiwan Free Burma Network. “It also violently cracks down on Tibetan demonstrators and supports authoritarian regimes in Myanmar and …

Beijing Olympics: Protests around the world as Games open in style

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

In London, more than 200 demonstrators from Tibet, Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan joined forces for a noisy demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy. …

Zimbabweans in Chinese embassy demonstration

SW Radio Africa, Zimbabwe –

By Lance Guma Zimbabwean activists in the United Kingdom on Friday teamed up with protesters from Burma, Tibet and Sudan to demonstrate at the Chinese …

Mao’s ghost

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Mao’s ghost

The spirit of the chairman haunts the Beijing Olympics

By EDITORIAL | August 6, 2008


Photo illustration by K. Banks.

When the 21st century is old enough to support a sense of historical perspective, the date 8/8/08 may well be more significant than 9/11. The Olympic Games, which begin today, mark China’s modern coming of age.

“Modern” is an important qualification. As the planet’s oldest civilization with a recognizable sense of continuity, China has seen glory before. Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass were all products of its ancient genius. But for much of modern history, China was a nation on the margins: misunderstood and discounted, shamelessly exploited by Western powers and brutally pillaged by the Japanese.

Chairman Mao Zedong changed that — though it takes a strong constitution to stomach the murderous nature of his achievement.

Mao brought China neither peace nor prosperity. His Soviet-inspired agricultural policies led to famine; his Cultural Revolution transformed the country into a massive concentration camp. Median estimates of the total number dead as a result of Mao’s will and whim float around 50 million — give or take 10 million. Whatever the body count, most historians agree that Mao was the greatest mass murderer of all time.

It was Mao’s perverse achievement to forge in the smithy of the ancient Chinese soul the makings of a reconstituted superpower. Whether the nation’s ascendancy is because of Mao or in spite of him is almost irrelevant. The DNA is too tight to unravel, the duality too synthesized to deconstruct. Mao, or a version of him, is China. China, in some manifestation, is Mao. Mao’s embalmed corpse on display under glass in a mausoleum in Tiananmen Square taps into the Confucian ideal of ancestor reverence, and yet also transcends it. Mao, the great helmsman, washes all other ancestors with his wake.

The cult of Mao is a form of zombie politics; it is part of the voodoo employed by the shrewd, sophisticated bureaucrats who command the Middle Kingdom. They are, by Mao’s standards, faceless. The art of ruling the world’s most populous nation is to be one of a crowd. (During the terror of the Cultural Revolution, only Mao’s favor could save one from the chaos; to survive, the individual had to melt into the mob. Its memory disciplines the masses.)

China today is a dragon with a capitalist head and a communist heart. It is a living, breathing, thriving contradiction. Because the dragon is rising (the metaphor is no less apt because it is melodramatic), its momentum tends to mask its weak spots.

All things considered, however, China has ridden its momentum to exceptional advantage. It has, from a narrow and admittedly selfish American point of view, promised much (or appeared to promise much) and given little.

The vicissitudes of domestic politics aside, when President Richard Nixon knocked on China’s door 36 years ago, America had little to lose by recognizing the reality (denied — ironically — by people like Nixon) that China was in fact Communist.

More problematic for the average American worker was China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. It is hard to see how this benefited the average American. Yes, there are lower prices for an increasingly huge number of consumer goods made in China. But that appears to come as a direct loss of American jobs with little return in terms of access to Chinese markets.

The real winners of this development have been the multinational conglomerates that moved to China, and the financial institutions that backed them. Both of the presumptive presidential nominees, John McCain and Barack Obama, are curiously tight-lipped about future China policy. The reason for that may be simple: both are advised by people who make their livings outside of electoral politics, counseling multinationals that make mega-bucks in China.

Since Nixon approached China, the argument has gone that engaging the country economically would provide political leverage and ultimately result in liberalization of the repressive Chinese regime. According to the US State Department, China is still among the world’s nastiest governments — so much for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s “iron law” that economic liberation will lead to political liberation.

Seeking raw materials and favors that sharpen its economic might, China sponsors terror in the Sudan and Zimbabwe and props up dictatorships in Myanmar (Burma) and North Korea. Its rape of Tibet has intensified, as has its crackdown on internal critics and dissidents. So secure is China in its ability to play on the hopes and avarice of the West, that it has — against all expectations (foolish though they might have been) — barred meaningful Internet access to the legions of journalists covering the Olympic Games.

Engagement was the reason China was awarded the Olympics. As a rule, cities, as opposed to nations, are awarded the Games in an effort to downplay international rivalries and accentuate the efforts of individual athletes. However, there have been two exceptions: the Berlin Games in 1936 were awarded by contract to Hitler’s Germany and the 2008 Games were awarded to the People’s Republic of China. The distinction may appear small and legalistic. But in each instance, the International Olympic Committee fractured its own protocols to massage egos that were as internationally aggressive as they were domestically repressive.

Demonizing China is counterproductive. Nations have interests, not friends. But Americans should ask themselves, is it in our interests that China today holds $1.2 trillion in reserve assets alone, with billions more invested in US financial institutions and other businesses? And while we ponder that question, we should ask ourselves this: is it prudent for the federal government to spend like a drunken sailor with money borrowed from China? The fault is not China’s for pressing its advantage as vigorously as it can. The fault is with a political establishment that has become so used to its own double talk that it fails to recognize where the interests of its citizens lie.

Meanwhile, Mao smiles in his mausoleum.

http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/66069-Maos-ghost/

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm