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Archive for March 2008

Zimbabwe’s election and Tibet’s protest

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Twin Falls Times-News

MDC and ZANU-PF run even in early Zimbabwe results
Reuters –
By Stella Mapenzauswa HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC and ruling ZANU-PF were running neck-and-neck, according to the first election results issued by the Electoral Commission on Monday.
Mugabe defeated, opposition says Boston Globe
Mugabe May Face Election Defeat; MDC Claims Victory (Update2) Bloomberg
Voice of AmericaBBC NewsChristian Science MonitorBlack Star News
all 2,055 news articles »


Albany Times Union

China Says It Has Evidence Dalai Lama Incited Riots
New York Times – By DAVID BARBOZA SHANGHAI – After two weeks in which China contended that Tibet’s government in exile had instigated the riots earlier this month to tarnish the coming Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government on Sunday issued for the first
Now Is the Time to Press China, Area Tibetans Say Washington Post
China attacks EU statement United Press International
International Herald TribuneMonsters and Critics.comBloombergThe Associated Press

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 31, 2008 at 6:37 am

Posted in Burma's Geopolitics

Tagged with , ,

World Focus on Burma (31 Mar 08)

Democracy Leader Barred From Office
The Associated Press – YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A copy obtained by The AP of Myanmar’s draft constitution confirms that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be barred from …
Long distance passengers suffer as bus owners call impromptu strike
KanglaOnline, India –
IMPHAL, Mar 30: Passenger services along the Indo-Myanmar road (Imphal-Sugnu) was severely disturbed today as drivers of buses serving along the …
EU Week Ahead: Wind, NATO, Myanmar, Australia
EUX.TV, Netherlands –Lastly, the Burma/Myanmar issue is tabled by the Development Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee. The latter considers how EU policy can influence …
Uproar before release of abducted driver, India –
Imphal, March 30: Bus service along the Indo-Burma Sugnu road was suspended this morning in protest against the abduction of driver Heikrujam Inao by the …
Route 3 binds China and its southern neighbors
International Herald Tribune, France – It financed parts of Route 3 in Laos and refurbished roads in northern Myanmar, including the storied Burma Road used by the Allies in World War II to …
Guys in skirts criticized by woman in pants, IN – 17 hours ago
Kind of like men in skirts changing the name of Burma to Myanmar. VIV ROSSWURM is a pants-wearing writer for The Evening Star. …
Archived telegrams show foreign attitudes over Tibet in WWII
China Daily, China – According to Chen, Japanese troops invaded Myanmar (then known as Burma) in 1942, not long after the Pearl Harbor attack, cutting China’s international …
The Whole Town’s Talking: Traveler leaves Lusk behind for war zone
The Casper Star Tribune, WY – Bleming, who journeyed to the Burma-Thailand border last spring to help the people in the fledgling Republic of Kawthoolei in their battle for independence …
Around the World: Family travel in Myanmar
Inside Bay Area, CA – THE TREK IN A SEC: This Orinda family spent two weeks traveling in Myanmar (Burma), wandering through gorgeous pagodas, floating gardens, colorful tribal …
Slain Karen leader: Rebel effort is self defense
CNN International –
… fighting the government of Myanmar for about 60 years, since shortly after the departure of the British from the country then known as Burma in 1948.

Burma’s second in command to visit New Delhi, India –
Sources said the Union Cabinet, on March 27, sanctioned the expenditure under ‘Aid to Myanmar‘ funds for the upgrading of Sittwe Port and the Kaladan


Probers call for Thaksin prosecution on Myanmar loan
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –
charges against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra involving a Bt4 billion bank loan earlier provided to fund a satellite project in Myanmar.


Myanmar: UN condemns ‘Junta’ for violating human rights
Merinews, India –
However in Myanmar, the military junta detained people who participated in such protests, resulting in a major crackdown in the country.


Thailand anti-graft body wants ex-Prime Minister Thaksin
International Herald Tribune, France –
The committee’s charges against Thaksin in the Myanmar loan case cover both conflict of interest and abuse of his official powers, said committee spokesman

Draft Constitution Surfaces, Stirring More Debate
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Burma’s draft constitution surfaced last week and, as expected, doesn’t honor basic democratic principles, excluding pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and


Junta No 2 to Visit India
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By WAI MOE Burma’s second top general, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, is scheduled to visit India on April 2 to garner support for the junta’s plans for a


Myanmar Draft Constitution Bars Suu Kyi From Holding Office
Wall Street Journal –
Other proposed changes include a new name and national flag for Myanmar. The draft proposes to rename the country, which was called Burma until 1989,


Thailand’s Burma Loan to Come under Scrutiny
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The loan was suspended on the grounds that its main purpose was to enable Burma’s military junta to buy communications equipment directly linked with Shin


Thai anti-graft body wants former PM Thaksin prosecuted for loan (Pressemitteilung), Austria –
recommended that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra be prosecuted in connection with a soft loan to Myanmar for communications satellite services.


AEC seeks legal action against Thaksin
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
decides to seek legal action against former prime minister over alleged irregularities involving the Bt4 billion additional soft loan to Burma.


Proposed Myanmar charter bars Suu Kyi from office
Reuters –
of the former Burma‘s military junta to keep their nemesis at bay, the clause has simply been copied across from Myanmar‘s two previous constitutions of


Myanmar Dissident Barred From Office
The Associated Press –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar‘s draft constitution ensures that the country’s pro-democracy leader cannot make a political comeback and guarantees a strong


CIA puts the world at your fingertips
Guardian, UK –
It therefore has an entry for Burma, instead of Myanmar. It doesn’t have one for Palestine, but it does have separate entries for the West Bank and Gaza


New Amnesty research reveals at least 40 demonstrators have been
Allmediascotland, UK –
to pressure Burma to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma to conduct a fact-finding mission in Myanmar immediately.

Parliamentarians blast UN’s “weak” response to Myanmar repression
Monsters and –
‘UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has remained weak, not using his position to call for the UN Security Council action on Burma and his Special Envoy Mr


ASC to consider controversial loan to Burma
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Export-Import Bank of Thailand’s (EXIM) decision to grant loans worth 4 billion baht to Burma while Mr Thaksin Shinawatra was still the prime minister.


Myanmar frontier guards repatriate 30 Bangladeshis
Independent-Bangladesh, Bangladesh –
The Myanmar border security force handed over 30 Bangladeshi nationals to the Bangladesh Riffles Sunday after they drifted into Myanmar territory with their

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 31, 2008 at 6:33 am

Posted in World Focus on Burma

Tagged with ,

World Focus on Burma (30 Mar 08)

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s aide dies of cancer: party
China Post, Taiwan –
YANGON — A spokesman and close aide to Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has died of stomach cancer in Singapore, where he had gone to seek medical …
US must support Tibetans’ fight for freedom
Huntington Herald Dispatch, WV –
The “saffron” uprising in Tibet, similar to the current revolt in Burma/Myanmar, is being led by courageous monks, followers of a religion which preaches …
Monk-Led Protests Show Buddhist Activism
The Associated Press –
The monk Saya San became a national hero in the 1930s in Myanmar — then Burma — by leading a revolt. The British colonials hanged him after fielding 12000 …
Burma Democratic Concern (press release), Bulgaria –
Burma Democratic Concern today called for United Nations to change their stand on Burma. They must have the clear vision. Military Regime declared to hold …

Not just a lucky accident
Newindpress on Sunday, India –
The military in Burma (Myanmar) has maintained its stranglehold insensitive to world opinion or the peaceful resistance of Buddhist monks, ..

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 30, 2008 at 5:34 am

Posted in World Focus on Burma

Tagged with ,

Zimbabweans Go to the Polls in National Elections

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Zimbabweans Go to the Polls in National Elections

29 March 2008

Zimbabweans are going to the polls today to choose a president, parliament and local councils. The elections come amid a severe economic crisis, as we hear from VOA’s Scott Bobb in our Southern Africa Bureau in Johannesburg.

Zimbabweans queue to cast their ballots in Harare, 29 Mar 2008
Zimbabweans queue to cast their ballots in Harare, 29 Mar 2008

Zimbabweans began lining up outside polling stations before dawn Saturday hoping to cast their ballot early. The elections were seen as a choice between keeping in power the government of President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence 28 years ago, and regime change advocated by two opposition candidates, Morgan Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni.

Zimbabwe police Chief Augustine Chihuri warned against any violence before or after the vote.

“All the defense and security forces of Zimbabwe are on full alert from now onwards covering the election period and beyond,” said Chihuri.

Soldiers and police put on a show of force patrolling the capital, Harare, in a convoy of armored personnel carriers and water cannon trucks.

Nearly six million voters are registered to vote at one of more than nine thousand polling stations. They are to choose a president, 210-member national assembly, a newly created senate and local councils.

Opposition leaders and pro-democracy groups have expressed concern over what they say are irregularities that could be used to rig the vote.

The say they have evidence that voter registration lists have been inflated and that 50 percent more ballot papers have been printed than registered voters. They say the widely feared police are allowed inside polling booths.

They also say that the four simultaneous elections, each with its own ballot, will likely confuse many voters because of a lack of voter education programs prior to the vote.

President Robert Mugabe attends campaign rally, 28 Mar 2008
President Robert Mugabe attends campaign rally, 28 Mar 2008

However, Mr. Mugabe dismissed these allegations as he voted Saturday saying his government is not in the habit of rigging and his conscience would not allow him to do so.

Most Zimbabweans are suffering from an economic crisis characterized by hyper-inflation, 80 percent unemployment and shortages of food, fuel and many basic goods.

The winner of the presidential election must receive 51 percent of the votes cast. Otherwise, he must stand against the second-placed candidate in a run-off election within three weeks. 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 29, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Dalai Lama leads prayer for victims of Tibet unrest

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Dalai Lama leads prayer for victims of Tibet unrest
Monsters and –
New Delhi – Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Saturday led an inter-faith prayer meeting in New Delhi in remembrance of Tibetans who lost their lives and were injured during the recent protests in China.
China Promises Tibet Compensation The Associated Press
Dalai Lama says wants time for preparation of ‘next life’ AFP
Guardian – New York Times – Voice of America – Reuters
all 2,856 news articles »

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

U.N. rights body condemns Myanmar for abuses

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Fri 28 Mar 2008, 17:58 GMT

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously condemned Myanmar on Friday for what it called “systematic violations” of fundamental freedoms six months after the country’s repression of monk-led protests.

The 47 member-state body also renewed the mandate of its special investigator to the former Burma for another year and called on the ruling military junta to let him visit to report on conditions there.

The European Union presented two resolutions, both adopted by consensus, on behalf of Western countries who said human rights violations had persisted in the wake of Myanmar’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations last September.

“There is still reason for great concern,” Slovenia’s ambassador Andrej Logar, on behalf of the EU, told the council on the last day of its four-week session.

The independent post of U.N. special rapporteur on Myanmar, first established in 1992, has provided valuable insight into the human rights situation in the insular country, Logar added.

Pinheiro, a Brazilian law professor who has held the post since 2000, is being replaced by Argentine expert Tomas Ojea Quintana, who is expected to try to seek a fresh visit.

Pinheiro said after a visit there in November that at least 31 people had died and up to 4,000 were arrested in September’s crisis.

His latest report to the council cited increasing repression since the crushing of the Buddhist monk-led protests and said that 1,850 political prisoners were still being detained.

The EU resolution expressed deep concern at the “violent repression” of the demonstrations and “the failure of the government of Myanmar to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of these violations”.

It further condemned “the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Myanmar, continued arbitrary detentions and the continuing high number of political prisoners”.

Britain, China, France and Russia — four of the five permanent Security Council members — are members of the Human Rights Council, while the United States has observer status.

Canada, a co-sponsor of the EU texts, voiced deep concern at “continuing reports of human rights violations perpetrated by the Burmese authorities against their own people”.

“Many of those arrested remain in detention as does (Nobel laureate) Aung San Suu Kyi. Some have been criminally charged for peaceful expression of their opinions,” Canadian ambassador Marius Grinius said.

Myanmar’s ambassador Wunna Maung Win dismissed the Western resolutions as “politically motivated”.

“The resolution is lop-sided and highly intrusive, besides it fails to take account of positive aspects of political developments in Myanmar,” he told the council.

The government has said it will hold a national referendum on a new constitution in May, with multi-party elections to follow in 2010, to set the nation on a path to democracy.

“The international community should therefore recognise and encourage the positive political developments in Myanmar,” the ambassador said.

(Editing by Laura MacInnis)

© Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved. 

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

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World Focus on Burma (29 Mar 08)


The Cost of Development
Epoch Times, NY –
India—Ignoring continuing international pressure to enact strong economic sanctions on the repressive military junta of Burma (also known as Myanmar),

Weekly Business Roundup (March 29, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By WILLIAM BOOT / BANGKOK Plans are afoot to permit transit trade through Burma again, a practice halted two years ago in a supposed effort by the junta to

Trouble in Tibet
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL –
for Buddhists in Burma or Myanmar, “where I understand the government has forced monks to discard their robes and abandon the temples and monasteries.

Global food prices rise and famine increases
World Socialist Web Site, MI –
Also affected will be Haiti, Myanmar (Burma), Yemen and Cuba. The WFP says amongst the factors pushing food increases are rising oil prices and the increase

Bush urges China to initiate talks with Tibet, India –
Elections in Taiwan, the ”wrongly” shipping of nuclear missile parts, North Korea and Myanmar also figured in the talks. ”On Burma, President Bush

Myanmar opposition spokesman dies in Singapore
Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan –
dpa )- Myint Thein, the spokesman for Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party who was jailed repeatedly, died at age 62 in Singapore,

Cracks in junta a growing threat to corrupt old guard
South China Morning Post (subscription), Hong Kong –
When Myanmar’s commander-in-chief Than Shwe delivered his closely watched speech on Thursday to mark the nation’s Armed Forces Day, it included plenty of

UN rights body condemns Myanmar for abuses
Reuters South Africa, South Africa –
The 47 member-state body also renewed the mandate of its special investigator to the former Burma for another year and called on the ruling military junta

The Week Ahead 31 March – 6 April 2008
Newsdesk (pressmeddelande), Sweden –
A hearing organised by the Development Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee will consider how EU policy can influence change in Burma/Myanmar.

Burmese Junta Supports China’s Crackdown in Tibet
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
According to the government statement: “ The Union of Myanmar [Burma] and the People’s Republic of China have traditionally maintained close and cordial

Burmese democratic forces for the “no” to the constitutional, Italy –
a Thai town at the border with Myanmar. The seminar, organised by the National Council of the Union of Burma in collaboration with the CISL (Italian

Junta likens itself to 19th century royal court, India –
In an address to military personnel and dignitaries, Senior General Than Shwe linked today’s Burmese armed forces with the battles of Burma‘s dead kings in

Ottawa decries ‘crackdown’ in Tibet by China’s military
Globe and Mail, Canada –
He condemned the regime in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and its “oppression of the people of Burma” in a speech to delegates from 15 countries

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 29, 2008 at 9:22 am

Posted in World Focus on Burma

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