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Archive for February 2009

Mugabe hosts lavish party despite national crisis

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CNN.com/World

Zimbabwe’s prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai was visiting cholera patients at a hospital in Harare.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was celebrating his 85th birthday with a lavish all-day party Saturday despite the fact that the country is gripped by an economic and health crisis.

Mugabe invited Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his new partner in a power-sharing government, but a Tsvangirai spokesman said the opposition party leader turned it down. Tsvangirai said it is a political party function and as the prime minister, he is not obligated to attend, the spokesman said.

The spokesman would not acknowledge whether Tsvangirai had initially agreed to attend, but it was widely reported in Zimbabwean media that he had agreed to do so.

Friday, Tsvangirai visited Harare Hospital, one of the country’s biggest, and said its intensive care unit will need $30,000 in order to start operating again after a funding shortage.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF raised $250,000 in order to hold the party.

Though he was holding his party Saturday, Mugabe’s birthday was seven days earlier.

The party was being held at the university in Mugabe’s hometown of Chinhoyi, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) outside of the capital, Harare.

Attendees will mostly be elite ZANU-PF members, but the president also invited schoolchildren from around the country. They will all be treated to food, music, and a likely speech by Mugabe.

In previous years, Tsvangirai and others have criticized the birthday parties as a waste of money, a splurge when Mugabe’s countrymen are facing food shortages and a worsening health situation.

Since Mugabe’s last birthday, a cholera epidemic has hit every corner of the country, killing 3,731 people and infecting nearly 80,000, according to the World Health Organization, which quoted Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health.

The preventable disease has spread through Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces through lack of access to clean water, faulty sewage systems, and uncollected refuse, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which released a report this month on the outbreak.

The problems, MSF said, are “clear symptoms of the breakdown in infrastructure resulting from Zimbabwe’s political and economic meltdown.”

Sunday, Tsvangirai appealed to the international community to help Zimbabwe’s crippled economy, saying that it would take $5 billion dollars to stabilize the country.

The cholera outbreak has worsened Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. An acute food shortage because of years of poor agricultural production, widespread corruption and failed government policies have ravaged Zimbabwe’s currency, whose inflation rate is the world’s highest.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/02/28/zimbabwe.mugabe.birthday.party/?iref=mpstoryview#cnnSTCText

Related CNN Video http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/02/28/zimbabwe.mugabe.birthday.party/?iref=mpstoryview#cnnSTCVideo

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 28, 2009 at 1:45 pm

World focus on Burma (28 February 2009)

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Civil Society Representatives Challenge Asean Leaders on Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – ‎‎

She said that the civic group had called for the release of all political prisoners in the country, including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, …

South-East Asia

Radio France Internationale – 

Khin Omar from Myanmar and chair of the Network for Democracy and Development in Burma (Myanmar since 1989), was one of the two campaigners who was barred …

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Plans for Regional Rights Body Hit Realities

Inter Press Service – 

ASEAN, which was established in 1967 to stem the spread of communism during the height of the Cold War, includes Brunei, Burma (or Myanmar), Cambodia, …

Burma Extends Agreement with UN on Labor

Voice of America

Burma’s state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Friday that Burma’s Labor Minister Aung Kyi signed the extension to Burma’s supplementary …

Long live Asean!

Manila Times

The worst, and all the nine other Asean members agree, is Burma. One of the major items in the Asean Charter is the formation of a Human Rights body—whether …

Activists raise Burma issues with ASEAN leaders

Mizzima.com – 

“During the meeting, we raised the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese refugees and Rohingya people and the 2010 election,” Wathshlah from Malaysia based …

2ND LD: ASEAN leaders vow action to tackle impact of global …

TMCnet

Debbie Stothard of the activist group Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma said the two blocked activists, Khin Ohmar from Myanmar and Pen Somony from …

Thailand: Thai Foreign Minister to visit Myanmar in March

ISRIA (subscription) – 

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has accepted an invitation from U Nyan Win, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, to pay an official visit to Myanmar …

Religion notes: Way of the Cross services scheduled

Asheville Citizen-Times – ‎‎

Originally from Burma (Myanmar), he has lived in a Buddhist monastery since he was 11; he was ordained at age 20 and obtained the title of Bhivamsa at 25. …

Southeast Asian Leaders Bar Human Rights Activists From Talks

AHN – 

Hua Hin, Thailand (AHN) – The human rights activists representing the military-ruled Myanmar and Cambodia were shunned out of the Association of Southeast …

THAILAND – ASEAN ASEAN summit: talk includes economy, ignores …

AsiaNews.it

Today, Myanmar has said that it will accept the return of the refugees, but only if they are recognized as Bengalis living in Myanmar, instead of Burmese …

Human rights in spotlight at ASEAN 28/02 14:04 CET

euronews

But Myanmar and Cambodia threatened to walk out if any such groups from their countries were involved. So organisers kept them away. Human rights…

Human rights activists barred from ASEAN meeting

The Associated Press – 

“The military regime of Burma (Myanmar) is the one who has been sabotaging ASEAN ever since they joined ASEAN in 1997,” said Debbie Stothard with the human …

Buddhist monk receives international award

BlueRidgeNow.com – 

During her two-week trip to Asia, Pannavati will visit Buddhist monasteries in Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. Pannavati, who has been a Buddhist nun for 10 …

Burma, Cambodia leaders denounced over ban on activists

Nation Multimedia – 

“They are not respecting the Asean Charter, which aims to be people-centred,” said Soe Aung, spokesman for the Forum for Democracy in Burma. …

Myanmar, Cambodian Civil Society Representatives Stay Out Of Asean …

Bernama

Altsean-Burma (Alternative Asean Network) coordinator Debbie Stothard said Ohmar and Somony had volunteered to stay out to ensure the meeting between the …

Civic groups barred from ASEAN leaders’ meeting

Reuters India

HUA HIN, Thailand (Reuters) – Leaders of Myanmar and Cambodia refused on Saturday to meet members of civic groups from their countries at a Southeast Asian …

Burma: A fervent appeal to stop push back of Rohingyas to Burma

The Muslim News

On the otherhand, the Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Burma is ready to take back the Rohingya migrants if they can prove they are of Bengali …

ASEAN relevancy questioned

Jakarta Post – 

Not to mention that the human rights situation in Myanmar has not improved since it was admitted to ASEAN in 1997. Although, the ASEAN Charter is coming up …

Human rights concerns at ASEAN summit

ABC Online

… Thein Sein and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen yesterday said they would refuse to attend if two prominent Burmese activists were allowed to sit in. …

UDD Red Shirts, rights group gather on 2nd day of ASEAN Summit

Thai News Agency MCOT – 

Meanwhile, ten members of an activist group called ‘Peace for Burma’, supported by Amnesty International launched a campaign urging people to take human …

Myanmar, Thailand to confer on Rohingya migrants, crime, drug …

Thai News Agency MCOT

PHETCHBURI, Feb 28 (TNA) – Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya will visit Myanmar officially in late March to discuss solutions to the …

Burma offers Rohingya return deal

BBC News

By Jonathan Head The Burmese government has said it will take back ethnic Rohingyas who have fled to neighbouring countries. But it will only do so if they …

Rights groups question Myanmar offer to take Rohingya migrants

ReliefWeb (press release)

The Rohingya are a Bengali-speaking ethnic minority group that hails from Myanmar’s western Rakhine (Arakan) state but is not recognized by Myanmar’s junta …

Asean right body punishes no violator

Nation Multimedia – 

… no tooth to the body to condemn, investigative and punish any human right violator in member countries of the Asean such as notorious junta-ruled Burma. …

Asean all at sea over Rohingya problem

The Malaysian Insider

The membership of Myanmar’s ruling junta in the grouping means the Rohingya question was always going to be reduced to the so-called sidelines. …

Nargis ‘Crimes’ Alleged

自由亚洲电视 – 

Cyclone Nargis was estimated to have resulted in the deaths of nearly 140000 people and severely affected 2.4 million Burmese. But interviews 90 private …

Junta to take Rohingya back

Jakarta Post – 

The Myanmar junta have relented from their stand on the Rohingya boat people and are willing to work to solve the problem that has affected three countries …

Malaysian PM recommends rough justice for refugees

Zimbabwe Star – 

We have also to see what they do about 75 thousand Burmese Chin refugees in Malaysia. By george funke, 02-27-09, 07:49 PM Millionen kleingeld von raivo …

A Talk With The Chairman

Sin Chew Jit Poh

Burma will be present. For Asean countries wanting to realise the Asean community, we need to have a more open talk about issues that matter to people in …

ENVIRONMENT: Trumping ‘rights’ —Saleem H Ali

Daily Times – 

… friends in Beijing on human rights and accountability will likely make them even more complacent when comes to policy changes on North Korea or Burma. …

Global economic crisis hangs over Asean summit

Irish Times

But ironing out details of the charter could take some time in a diverse region whose governments range from Burma’s military junta and Brunei’s absolute …

International community has a responsibility to protect Myanmar

Canada.com – 

The cyclone that has recently ravaged Burma (Myanmar), resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, has rightfully prompted widespread global …

Frequently asked questions about Asean:

Nation Multimedia – 

What is the Asean stance on Burma (Myanmar) issue? Asean has been urging Burma to step up the pace of the process of national reconciliation and dialogue …

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: ‘Bali Process’ May Address Rohingya Crisis

Inter Press Service

The first meeting to address the plight of Rohingyas escaping predominantly Buddhist Burma, or Myanmar, is scheduled for Apr. 14 -15 in the Indonesian …

Anger as rights activists barred from ASEAN talks

AFP


“This shows that the Burmese junta has no commitment to the charter that it has ratified,” Khin Omar said, referring to Myanmar by its former name. …

SE Asian human rights body lacks powers: Draft

Times of India

Burma is military-ruled Myanmar’s former name. The draft does not specify who should sit on the rights body, other than representatives with “competence in …

ASEAN plans early warning system to avoid conflict

International Herald Tribune

The protest was organized by Peace for Burma, a Thailand-based umbrella group for activists pushing for reform in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

State Department blasts Venezuela on human rights, drugs

World War 4 Report – 

26 condemned the new US State Department human rights report that singles out the two South American countries, saying Washington has no right to pass …

Australia signs up for free trade with ASEAN and New Zealand

ABC Online – 

KAREN PERCY: There’s also controversy over doing a deal with an organisation that counts Burma as a member. Burma has the worst human rights reputation in …

Maryland city to test new election software

Politics In Color

The town is a nuclear-free zone, the city, by statute, is forbidden to do business with the country of Burma (Myanmar), and residents must apply for a city …

Bangkok Post : US report says illicit Thai drug production has ended

Bangkok Post – 

Rather, lack of enforcement and trafficking by gangs in Burma “have a devastating impact on Burma’s neighbours, especially Thailand. …

ICC probe sought into Myanmar junta’s cyclone response

Daily Times

“The people of the delta told us how the Burmese military regime hindered cyclone relief efforts, confiscated aid supplies and land, and used forced labour, …

Simon Calder: Should tourists now return to Zimbabwe?

Independent – 

At Burma: a decade ago, the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, called for a tourism boycott until civilian rule is restored, saying “Burma will …

Bangkok Post : Burma: We’ll take Bengalis, not Rohingya

Bangkok Post – ‎‎

… we would like the Burmese authorities to release all the 2000 political prisoners and then hold a constructive dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi as quickly …

Report details larceny, neglect in wake of Nargis

SmartBrief – 

Eyewitness reports documented in a new report by Johns Hopkins University and the Emergency Assistance Team in Myanmar reveal that the military junta …

Softer reaction on a softer report

RT

Both the Russian part of the 2008 Human Rights Report by the US Dept. of State, and Russia’s reaction to it, are more toned down than in years past, …

Bangkok Post : Countries threaten boycott on rights talks

Bangkok Post

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was debating terms of reference (TOR) for creating an Asean human rights body, Burma and Cambodia …

Asean looks to the future

Bangkok Post – 

A great deal of time at the last summit in Singapore was devoted to the Asean Charter and formation of a human rights body. The principal theme this year …

A Mine-Free World: Mission Possible

Common Dreams (press release)

… means that only two governments – Burma (Myanmar) and Russia – and a handful of non-state armed groups employed these weapons in the past few years. …

US: Join Allies in Banning Landmines

Common Dreams (press release)

WASHINGTON – February 27 – The United States should reconsider its stance and join the treaty banning antipersonnel landmines, Human Rights…

Nobel winner in Denver to advocate mine ban

Denver Post – 

The United States remains one of 39 nations, including China and Burma, that have not signed the decade-old Mine Ban Treaty. …

42 years on, Asean reaches a milestone

Nation Multimedia – 

Furthermore, Asean must ensure that Burma continues to accept international humanitarian help. Survivors of Cyclone Nargis still need assistance to build up …

Burma Insists Rohingyas are ‘Bengalis’

ReliefWeb (press release)

The Asean foreign ministers were due to meet on Friday to discuss the proposed establishment of a human rights body under Asean’s new charter, …

Johns Hopkins School Calls For Un Investigation Into Burma’s …

Journal of Turkish Weekly – 

A young survivor of the cyclone Nargis wait for relief supplies in Bogalay, Burma, 13 May 2008A report led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine …

Public Health School Calls for Investigation into Burma’s Handling …

Voice of America – 

By Ron Corben A report led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine has called for a United Nations investigation into Burma’s handling of aid and …

Independent observers allege abuse of Cyclone Nargis victims

Channel News Asia – 

When Cyclone Nargis struck and devastated Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta in May 2008, the resulting humanitarian disaster – which claimed 140000 lives – shocked …

“We’ll take any ethnic bengalis born in Burma” : Junta

Nation Multimedia – 

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee Cha-am – BurmaBurma, … has agreed to take back the Rohingya Muslim boat people if they are identified as ethnic Bengalis born in

Honoring the fallen and the brave

CPJ Press Freedom Online – 

… of Cyclone Nargis victims held outside the United Nations Development Program office in Rangoon ‘s Tamwe Township . Burma ‘s military regime came under …

Time for a Makeover

The Edge Daily – ‎1

… so immediately I stepped in lah, and asked about Malaysia’s relationship with Burma and why we recognised Burma despite its human rights…

2008 Human Rights Reports

UNPO – 

The United States Department of State released the 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights this past Wednesday, 25 February 2009. The UNPO applauds the United …

US State Department releases annual rights reports

JURIST – 

In its introduction [text] to the reports, which covered almost 200 countries, the Department noted that many countries still abuse basic human rights, …

Recent focus on 2008 Cyclone Nargis for Crimes against Humanity

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28-2-2009‎

Nargis ‘Crimes’ Alleged

自由亚洲电视 – 

Cyclone Nargis was estimated to have resulted in the deaths of nearly 140000 people and severely affected 2.4 million Burmese. But interviews 90 private …

ICC probe sought into Myanmar junta’s cyclone response

Daily Times

“The people of the delta told us how the Burmese military regime hindered cyclone relief efforts, confiscated aid supplies and land, and used forced labour, …

Report details larceny, neglect in wake of Nargis

SmartBrief

Eyewitness reports documented in a new report by Johns Hopkins University and the Emergency Assistance Team in Myanmar reveal that the military junta …

Johns Hopkins School Calls For Un Investigation Into Burma’s …

Journal of Turkish Weekly

A young survivor of the cyclone Nargis wait for relief supplies in Bogalay, Burma, 13 May 2008A report led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine …

Public Health School Calls for Investigation into Burma’s Handling …

Voice of America

By Ron Corben A report led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine has called for a United Nations investigation into Burma’s handling of aid and …

Independent observers allege abuse of Cyclone Nargis victims

Channel News Asia – 

When Cyclone Nargis struck and devastated Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta in May 2008, the resulting humanitarian disaster – which claimed 140000 lives – shocked …

Honoring the fallen and the brave

CPJ Press Freedom Online – 

… of Cyclone Nargis victims held outside the United Nations Development Program office in Rangoon ‘s Tamwe Township . Burma ‘s military regime came under …

27-2-2009

Myanmar curbs cyclone recovery plan ahead of election

Reuters UK

The military, which has ruled the former Burma in various guises since 1962, has promised elections in 2010 as part of its seven-step “roadmap to democracy. …

New Report Slams Junta for Nargis ‘Crimes’

The Irrawaddy News Magazine

By NEIL LAWRENCE In stark contrast to an earlier assessment of the Cyclone Nargis relief effort by Burma’s ruling junta and its international partners, …

Burmese regime blocked international aid to cyclone victims …

guardian.co.uk

Burmese people beg for food in the rain as aid begins to arrive following cyclone Nargis. Photograph: Getty Images International aid for cyclone…

26-2-2009‎

AJWS Announces $5.7 Million in New Grants

PNN – 

In Burma, funds given for Cyclone Nargis relief efforts supported a coordinated relief team that met with affected communities to assess needs, …

From 13-2-2009 to 25-2-2009

“Remarkable gains” in last 60 years, but millions still denied freedom

EMportal – 

… a constitutional referendum characterized by widespread irregularities and intimidation in the immediate aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Nargis. …

Jailed Burmese journalist honoured with ‘Kenji Nagai Award’

Mizzima.com – 

… Cyclone Nargis, was honoured with the first ‘Kenji Nagai Award’ on February 21. At the award giving ceremony held at the Sixth ‘Burma Media Conference, …

Nargis accused to receive legal help

Democratic Voice of Burma

Feb 25, 2009 (DVB)–Six members of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions who were arrested last year after helping victims of cyclone Nargis…

Jailed Burmese journalist awarded

United Press International, Asia – 

… granted to a female journalist who reported about an area of the country that was devastated by Cyclone Nargis last year. The Burma Media Association, …

Burma-Assistance for farmers.

Farming UK – 

Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis hit five divisions and states -Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on May 2 and 3 last year,of which Ayeyawaddy and …

Burma: “Kenji Nagai Award” or an Encouragement towards journalists …

Asian Tribune – 

… presented in the Burma Media Conference to a female reporter who reported about an area of the country that was devastated by Nargis cyclone… last year.

Burma’s Rice Exports Soar, While Millions Remain Malnourished
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Speaking early last December, Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein said that Burmese rice exports could reach as high as three million tons in 2009. “Myanmar is to …

ASEAN unveils rights body but it still lacks punch

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boston.com

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, left, greets his Myanmar counterpart Nyan Win ahead of a meeting during the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Thai resort city Hua Hin, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Bangkok Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Chaiwat Subprasom, Pool)

By Jim Gomez

Associated Press Writer / February 27, 2009

CHA-AM, Thailand—Southeast Asian officials on Friday praised a proposal for the creation of a regional human rights body as a historic first step toward confronting abuses, but the body will lack the power to investigate or punish violators like military-ruled Myanmar.

A confidential document obtained by The Associated Press says the rights body, which the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations hopes to form later this year, would “promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms” in the region but will abide by the bloc’s bedrock policy of not interfering in members’ internal affairs.

The document, which outlines the proposed powers of the future rights body, falls short of key demands voiced by international human rights groups, which say the body will have limited effectiveness unless it can impose sanctions or expel countries that violate the rights of their own citizens.

ASEAN traditionally shies away from criticizing its members, although some leaders said that issues of democratic reform in Myanmar and human rights abuses were being discussed on the sidelines of the conference.

The document was presented behind closed doors to ASEAN foreign ministers gathered at a coastal resort in Thailand ahead of an annual leaders summit this weekend.

The draft is the first one to outline the body’s proposed powers; a final one is expected in July.

“It is a historic first for Southeast Asia,” said Rosario Manalo, a Philippine diplomat on the panel that drafted the human rights body’s outline.

Despite the attention given so far to the human rights issue, leaders say the summit will focus on the global economic meltdown and how the export-dependent region can best cope with the crisis.

ASEAN signed a free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand on Friday, a pact that could boost the combined gross domestic product of all 12 nations by more than $48 billion by 2020.

Officials sought to temper criticism of the proposed human rights body, saying the powers of the body could evolve over time.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the chairman of the drafting committee said that “investigative powers should not be ruled out.”

According to the document, the body would follow the principles of “noninterference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states” and any of the group’s decisions “shall be based on consultation and consensus,” giving Myanmar and other violators veto power to block decisions.

International human rights groups have urged ASEAN leaders to press military-ruled Myanmar to end its rights abuses, including detaining thousands of political prisoners.

The summit, hosted by current chair Thailand, is the first since the group signed a landmark charter in December to make ASEAN a legal entity and move it a step closer to its goal of establishing a single market by 2015 and becoming a European Union-like community.

ASEAN’s 10 members — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — range from very poor to moderately rich.

——

Associated Press Writers Jocelyn Gecker and Stephen Wright contributed to this report.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/02/27/asean_unveils_rights_body_but_it_still_lacks_punch/

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 27, 2009 at 11:09 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , ,

Burma cyclone response was ‘crime against humanity’

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Telegraph.co.uk

Burma’s regime deliberately blocked international aid getting to victims of last year’s cyclone, a report has claimed.

By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:33PM GMT 26 Feb 2009

Survivors of Cyclone Nargis in Burma did not receive donor money they were promised to rebuild their lives Photo: AFP/Getty

The first independent inquiry into the aftermath of the disaster has said the authorities should be referred to the International Criminal Court for stopping help getting through and persecuting survivors.

It found the Burmese leadership failed to provide adequate food, shelter and medical care in the wake of Cyclone Nargis which struck the Irrawaddy Delta on May 2 last year, killing at least 140 000 people.

Around 3.4 million people were effected by the disaster, which swept away homes, farms, granaries, livestock and wells.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in America and an organisation of Burmese volunteers called the Emergency Assistance Team – Burma (EAT) have documented what happened in the following weeks.

Military checkpoints were set up across the delta as the regime treated the disaster not as a humanitarian emergency but as a security crisis.

The report claims some people who attempted to distribute private aid were arrested. It details allegations of aid being stolen and resold by the military authorities.

The researchers also claim the army used forced labour, including of children, in the aftermath of the disaster.

According to one survivor: “[The army] did not help us, they threatened us. Everyone in the village was required to work for five days, morning and evening, without compensation. Children were required to work too.

“A boy got injured in his leg and he got fever. After two or three days he was taken to Rangoon, but in a few [days] he died.”

There were also anecdotal accounts of people dying in the aftermath of the cyclone due to the actions of the army.

But restrictions in the country mean no one has been able to estimate how many died in a supposed “second wave” of deaths in the period after the cyclone.

Under international law, creating conditions where the basic survival needs of civilians cannot be adequately met, “intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health,” is considered a crime against humanity.

The report concludes that the United Nations Security Council should refer the junta for investigation by the International Criminal Court.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/4839404/Burma-cyclone-response-was-crime-against-humanity.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 27, 2009 at 2:20 am

Burmese election will be a sham and change nothing

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Opinion

Burmese election will be a sham and change nothing

Published on February 27, 2009

Once again, UN and US pleas for the release of all political prisoners in Burma will be met with deafening silence, as is always the case where the Burmese junta is concerned.

It should be evident to the UN, the US and the EU that the junta is determined to carry on its charade of a 2010 election. Everyone knows that this fiasco is aimed at cementing the regime’s rule through some “democratic” trappings and is in no way going to lead to real democratisation and reconciliation.

Just as a reminder, the constitution is drawn by the military and the election rules will be the same. In the end, the junta will be allotted 25 per cent of the seats without election and the rest will be for its self-created USDA-like parties or affiliates. It is all going to be stage-managed. A few individual parties will be allowed to contest, for the sake of window-dressing, and nothing radical will come out of it.

The junta could create a turning point for the better, just in a single day, simply by releasing all political prisoners, calling for a nationwide ceasefire and implementing a process of reconciliation and all-inclusiveness in the political arena.

However, this scenario is just wishful thinking. The world body and influential stakeholders can only make a difference by imposing a new, fair game plan, rather than going along with the junta’s self-serving roadmap.

SAI WANSAI

BANGKOK

Privacy Policy © 2006 Nation Multimedia Group page=”Printable version”; Thailand Web Stat

February 27, 2009 09:06 am (Thai local time)
www.nationmultimedia.com

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/02/27/opinion/opinion_30096711.php

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 27, 2009 at 2:13 am

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , , , ,

World focus on Burma (27 February 2009)

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ILO, Burma extend ‘supplementary understanding’

Mizzima.com – 

The New Light of Myanmar, Burma’s military junta’s mouthpiece, on Friday reported that Burma’s Labour Minister Aung Kyi and ILO’s Executive Director Mr. …

Thai PM Calls for All Sides to Participate in Burmese Elections

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

… a one-year extension (until July 2010) of the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) for rebuilding and humanitarian projects in areas affected by Cyclone Nargis. …

Myanmar curbs cyclone recovery plan ahead of election

Reuters UK – 

The military, which has ruled the former Burma in various guises since 1962, has promised elections in 2010 as part of its seven-step “roadmap to democracy. …

MYANMAR – MALAYSIA Burmese refugees in Malaysia abused, handcuffed …

AsiaNews.it – 

All of the refugees had to flee their homeland to escape abuses by the ruling military junta. Without papers the refugees are treated like criminals, ..

Ethnic delegation urges Australia to lend more support

Mizzima.com

The representatives also explained the importance of a tripartite dialogue that would include the government, the opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi…

Burma’s refugees barred

The Australian – 

CHA-AM, Thailand: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has called for Burma’s Muslim boatpeople to be pushed back if they attempt to land on any …

Tiny fish bred by aquarium experts

Click Liverpool – 

It’s the first time the fish, which comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma) has bred successfully at the award-winning aquarium and staff say the …

Bangkok Post : Rohingya ‘a regional problem’

Bangkok Post – 

Burma is ready to take back the Rohingya migrants if they can prove they are of Bengali descent, which is a recognised ethnic minority there, …

Exclusive: Obama Intel Chief Works for Chinese Government, Says …

PR Newswire (press release) – 

The Chinese oil firm, owned by the People’s Republic of China , also has been accused of multiple human rights violations. In 2005, CNOOC made a staggering, …

Burma sets condition for accepting Rohingya migrants

Mizzima.com

by Usa Pichai Hua Hin (Mizzima) The Thai Foreign Minister has said that the Burmese military regime has agreed to take back only those migrants, …

ASEAN to send Rohingya migrants back to Myanmar

Reuters India – 

… who washed up on the shores of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia having fled oppression in Myanmar. Those found to have originated from the former Burma, …

New Report Slams Junta for Nargis ‘Crimes’

The Irrawaddy News Magazine

By NEIL LAWRENCE In stark contrast to an earlier assessment of the Cyclone Nargis relief effort by Burma’s ruling junta and its international partners, …

Burma Insists Rohingyas are ‘Bengalis’

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

By WAI MOE CHA-AM, Thailand — Burma is insisting at the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) summit in southern Thailand that the boatpeople now fleeing …

Burmese regime blocked international aid to cyclone victims …

guardian.co.uk – 

Burmese people beg for food in the rain as aid begins to arrive following cyclone Nargis. Photograph: Getty Images International aid for cyclone…

ASEAN to Discuss Rohingya Refugee Issue

Voice of America – 

By Daniel Schearf Waves of Burma’s minority Rohingya fleeing oppression and poverty in their country have added pressure on Southeast Asian nations to find …

Bangladesh: A Test for Hasina

ISN – 

The BDR is primarily responsible for guarding the country’s 4400-kilometer border with India and Myanmar (Burma). Despite a rich tradition and professional …

Rohingyas to be sent back

AsiaOne – 

‘The fact that Myanmar has come forward is positive. Myanmar should play a positive role in endearing itself to our human rights demands. …

ASEAN signs free trade pact, puts off rights body

Yahoo – ‎‎

HUMAN RIGHTS BODY Foreign ministers whose governments range from Brunei’s absolute monarchy and Myanmar’s junta to the young democracies of Indonesia and …

Govt Urged To Let Muslim Rohingya Refugees Take Part In …

“Their their homeland should also stop the violation of human rights either in the form of bad treatment of Myanmarese minority group like the Rohingyas, …

Burmese junta should be referred to ICC: Report

Mizzima.com – 

… and an organization of Burmese volunteers called the Emergency Assistance Team – Burma (EAT), in the weeks following the deadly Cyclone Nargis, …

Global Fund Discusses Possible Return to Burma

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

It has since met 29 members of the Myanmar [Burma] Country Coordinating Mechanism (MCCM), headed by Health Minister Kyaw Myint, Xinhua was told by Sun Gang, …

Break the Broken Record

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

… first trip to Asia: “We want to see a time when citizens of Burma and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi can live freely in their own country. …

Service to remember one of Thame’s oldest residents

Thame Today – 

Once only a severe bout of malaria prevented him being put to work on the notorious Burma Railroad, where Allied prisoners died in their tens of thousands. …

SHRF MONRHLY REPORT – FEBRUARY 2009

Shan Herald Agency for News – 

by admin — last modified 2009-02-27 10:40 Confiscation of villagers’ lands by the Burmese junta’s troops in Shan State has been going on unabated, …

Australia signs historic FTA with ASEAN, NZ

Radio Australia News – ‎‎

It has also detained many pro-democracy activists including the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. More recently it has been caught up in allegations that …

US State Department releases annual rights reports

JURIST – 

In the Near East and North Africa, the DOS criticized Egypt, Iran, Libya and Syria for imprisoning human rights activists and Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia …

The Secret Agent and Propaganda

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

With its bizarre title, which meant The New Grassland, Myet Khen Thit was the brainchild of Burma’s military intelligence service (MIS). …

Drugs – Junta’s short and straight road to Obama (Part II)

Shan Herald Agency for News – 

For one thing, a clash took place on 3 February in Hopang township where 2 on the Wa side and 8-10 on the Burma side were reportedly killed. …

ASEAN fails to act against Burmese junta: Rights group

Mizzima.com – 

But, on human rights issues, the Charter does not provide opportunity to visit and investigate human right violations in any member country even if it …

Human Rights body formation is ‘evolving’

Bangkok Post – 

… have voiced concerns that the human rights body may not have power to stop abuses in countries where human rights remain concerns to the world like Burma.

ASEAN in search of relevance

Asia Times Online

Expatriate Burmese academic Kyaw Yin Hlaing suggests that a great deal more could be done for Myanmar in the practical mould of basic capacity-building in …

East Timor in good economic shape, says Minister

Radio Australia – 

And in a report also this week, the US State Department says human rights problems remain because of an inadequately trained police force and judiciary. …

Will US Oil Companies Return to Burma?

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

Political observers have made much of Clinton’s high-level talks in Beijing in recent days in which human rights issues took a back seat in favor of …

Burma agrees to take back Muslim boat people

Nation Multimedia – 

Chaam – Burma has agreed to take back the socalled Rohingya Muslim boat people if they could be identified as ethnic Bangali who were born in the country, …

Philippine activists demand more ASEAN action against Myanmar

Monsters and Critics.com – 

The protestors, numbering around 90, picketed the Thai embassy in Manila and urged ASEAN to put Myanmar, formerly called Burma, on the ‘hot seat’ during its …

Bangkok Post : Rohingya ‘not Bumese ethnic minority’

Bangkok Post

The Burmese government says it is ready to welcome people who can prove they are Bengalis born in Burma, but it does not accept that the Rohingya boat …

Greenpeace urges South-East Asian leaders to discuss climate change

Nation Multimedia

Asean’s members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

On this day

News24

1889 – Burma – now Myanmar – opens railroad from Rangoon to Mandalay. 1901 – Russia’s minister of propaganda is murdered to avenge repression of student …

VIDEO: Video Reporters For Freedom And Democracy

Javno.hr – 

Armed with small cameras, disguised video reporters send news from closed Burma, risking their lives and freedom. The audience of the ZagrebDox documentary …

Asean opens with economic agenda

BBC News – 

But human rights groups say there is still no mechanism for dealing with routine abuses inside Asean member states like Burma and Vietnam. …

ASEAN summit underway, human rights body criticised

ABC Online – ‎‎

Burma is the most blatant abuser in the region. Last year it hindered international relief efforts for victims of Cyclone Nagis. It has also detained many …

ASEAN minister discuss human rights, economy

Radio Australia News

It has also detained many pro-democracy activists including the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. More recently it has been caught up in allegations that …

Divesting guilt

PSU Daily Vanguard – 

And it’s telling that several groups, such as Democracy Now! and Students for Justice in Palestine, have claimed this as a victory for resistance against …

US: Join Allies in Banning Landmines

منظمة هيومان رايتس ووتش – حقوق الانسان

(Washington, DC) – The United States should reconsider its stance and join the treaty banning antipersonnel landmines, Human Rights Watch said today. …

Asean human rights body lacks power to punish

Philippine Star – 

… rights situation in Burma” and also improve treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the region. The United States also blasted Myanmar’s …

Asean Will Not React to Pressure: Thai FM

The Irrawaddy News Magazine – 

A Thai official at the summit, who spoke to The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity, said, “We are waiting for an answer from Myanmar [Burma] about the TCG, …

Myanmar gov’t, ILO extend supplementary understanding on forced …

Xinhua – ‎‎

27 (Xinhua) — Myanmar government and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have extended their Supplementary Understanding on the treatment of …

Crackdown on illegal Burmese migrants

Democratic Voice of Burma

Migrant right activists in Mae Sot said those who were arrested were being detained in three different places in town and they were likely to be sent back …

The Secret Agent and Propaganda

The Irrawaddy News Magazine

To counter the junta’s propaganda offensive, opposition groups inside and outside Burma published many short-lived magazines and newsletters, …

Burma’s corridor to democracy depends on regional partners

Mizzima.com – 

For Burma, which is no exception, the United Nations is still the best option, through the mandate of which the Association of South-east Asian Nations …

Malaysian PM: Push back Rohingya refugees

International Herald Tribune – 

“Of course, we know they come from Myanmar (Burma). When we ask Myanmar, they ask: ‘Are you sure they are our people? What evidence have you got?'” he said. …

Asean parliamentarians urge action on Burma

AsiaOne – ‎‎

… Asian countries under the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) gathered yesterday at a Bangkok hotel to discuss social justice in Burma. …

Company’s deals were seen as attempt to expand communist nation’s …

WorldNetDaily – 

The Chinese oil firm also has been accused of multiple human rights violations. Freeman has served on the board of CNOOC since 2004. …

Clinton’s stumbling start

Boston Globe – 

She also seemed forgetful of President Obama’s comparison of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Nelson Mandela. Clinton made another kind of …

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Civil Society Edges Deeper Into Regional Summit

Inter Press Service – 

‘’The treatment of the Rohingyas by Burma-Myanmar, freeing the political prisoners there, the economic crisis, and the food crisis are some of the issues. …

US rates Malaysia’s human rights record

The Malaysian Insider – 

MYANMAR: The report on Myanmar, which the State Department survey refers to as Burma, called the ruling junta ”highly authoritarian” and said military …

Burma blocked aid supplies – report

Irish Times – ‎‎

THE UNITED Nations Security Council should refer Burma (Myanmar) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the manner in which it blocked humanitarian …

Is A Major War A Possibility In 2009? The Historical Antecedents

Center for Research on Globalization – 

In Asia ,during the same decade, the UK annexed Burma and brought under its control the Malay peninsula and Baluchistan . France began the breakup of China …

UN peacekeepers to stay in East Timor

Sydney Morning Herald

The UN Security Council decided unanimously on Thursday to keep its peacekeeping mission in East Timor for another 12 months, noting that the political and …

Thai Prime Minister faces credibility test

Radio Australia – 

Human rights is on the agenda, in particular the setting up of an ASEAN body to deal with human rights abuses. But the controversy surrounding hundreds of …

Burma cyclone response was ‘crime against humanity’

Telegraph.co.uk – 

It found the Burmese leadership failed to provide adequate food, shelter and medical care in the wake of Cyclone Nargis which struck the Irrawaddy Delta on …

Child dies from alleged torture

Saudi Gazette – 

Hussein Al-Shareef, Chairman of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) in Makkah, condemned the crime and called for the severest penalties for those

Asean must work together to ride out crisis

New Straits Times

THE deteriorating state of the global economy, its impact on the region and the policies and actions to mitigate the adverse effects on Association of …

UN mandate in East Timor is extended

Antara – 

… was quoted by AFP as saying in Washington that US President Barack Obama should seize on his global popularity and reach out to Myanmar and Cuba. (*)

Meeting may determine fate of latest boat people

The National – 

HUA HIN, THAILAND // The fate of thousands of Muslim refugees from Myanmar may be decided at a summit of South East Asia leaders meeting in Thailand today. …

NZ to sign ASEAN, Australia free trade deal

Radio New Zealand – 

New Zealand will sign a new free trade agreement on Friday evening at a ceremony in Thailand. The agreement will set in place an ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand …

ASEAN signs free-trade pact

The Journal of Commerce Online – 

Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations are meeting in Thailand today to sign their long-anticipated agreement for a free trade zone …

Building a Strategic Partnership: US-India Relations in the Wake …

Heritage.org – 

Beijing is developing strategic port facilities in Sittwe, Burma; Chittagong, Bangladesh; Hambantota, Sri Lanka; and Gwadar, Pakistan, in order to protect …

Economics May Overshadow Human Rights, Burma at ASEAN Summit

Voice of America – 

The focus is expected to be on dealing with the global economic downturn rather than human rights issues and growing concerns about Burma. …

NASA Study Finds ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ Fueled Killer Cyclone

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

In early May 2008, Cyclone Nargis passed over Burma (Myanmar) after forming in the Bay of Bengal. PASADENA, Calif. – A “pre-existing condition” in the North …

Jailed Burmese Reporter Honored

Radio Free Asia

“When Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, the Dagon Myothit area where we lived was one of the worst affected regions. After the cyclone, she went about in Dagon …

Bangkok Post : Malaysian PM: Asean is a force for regional progress

Bangkok Post

Of course, we know they come from Myanmar (Burma). When we ask Myanmar, they ask: ‘Are you sure they are our people? What evidence have you got? …

Nicolaides free, but writers’ persecution persists

Eureka Street

… the government for neglecting the victims of the cyclone that swept through lower Burma, now known as Myanmar, in May 2008, killing over 130000 people. …

Civilization and its discontents

Calcutta Telegraph

This is a compelling account of how thirty-six Burmese prisoners, held in Port Blair’s jail, turned out to be much more than simple political detainees. …

Asean urged to move on rights

Bangkok Post

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the summit should address rights violations in Burma, improve treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, …

Guest HK speaker Thaksin may face extradition bid

The Standard

Thaksin also faces criminal charges over his Cabinet’s 2003 approval of a state-run lottery, a loan extended to Burma to buy equipment from his family’s …

Abdullah: We must be firm in turning back Rohingya

Bangkok Post

They come to us and when they come to us of course we know they come from Myanmar [Burma],” he said. But when Malaysia has approached Burma on this issue, …

Home and abroad: US vow on rights

The Canberra Times – 

… both democratic and human rights” in Venezuela. Burma’s ruling junta carried out extrajudicial killings along with rape and torture, the report said. …

Boat people to be sent back to Myanmar

CNN – 

By Dan Rivers BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) — Scores of boat people who fled Myanmar and are now in Thailand are to be sent back despite human rights… groups’

High schools campaign to fight use of child soldiers

Signal – 

Valencia High School is now joining Canyon High School’s Human RightsHuman Rights Club. .. Watch Student Task Force by forming their own

ASEAN Politicians Say Summit Will Test Burma Human Rights Policy

Voice of America – 

“Of course in ASEAN it sounds very nice to have elections at long last in Myanmar, but it does not negate the wrong that they have committed and continue to …

Human rights groups urge ASEAN to take action over Myanmar

3 News NZ – 

There has been much criticism that the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be illegible to contest it and that the election will be heavily slanted …

ASEAN: Human rights an urgent issue for summit leaders

Adnkronos International Italia – 

… India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand after thousands of the minority Rohingyas left Burma on boats sailing for Thailand and Malaysia. …

24 Political Prisoners Released in Burma

OneWorld.net – 

… Friends of Myanmar Group, the Australian government should be taking an active role in securing the release of all political prisoners in Burma. …

Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime dispute

The New Nation – 

According to a Bangladesh-Burma border based Burmese journalist, the junta is stepping up its military presence, particularly the artillery battalion in the …

Letters: A tribute to Michael Cullen, Update on the UVSS, and more!

The Martlet – 

The article “Panties Combat Burma Military” leaves the impression that there is a “human rights” or “democracy” problem isolated within the borders of Burma …

‘Brutal’ Myanmar rights record criticized

MorungExpress – 

Myanmar’s most famous woman, pro-democracy advocate and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has been under house arrest for most of the last 19 years. …

Burmese election will be a sham and change nothing

เดอะ เนชั่น – 

… for the release of all political prisoners in Burma will be met with deafening silence, as is always the case where the Burmese junta is concerned. …

US worried by Mindanao situation—envoy

Cebu Daily News – ‎‎

… said the US was also concerned about the effects of the global economic meltdown on Asia and the continuing situation in Myanmar, also known as Burma. …

ASEAN: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Council on Foreign Relations – 

Still, human rights issues such as the house arrest of Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi continue to spark conflict (Economist) within ASEAN and …

US 2008 Human Rights Report: Japan

Journal of Turkish Weekly – 

In practice a number of ethnic Rohingyas were deported to Burma. In addition UNCAT criticized the lack of an independent body to review applications for …

Asian culture and community events

WFAA – 

Daphne wrote her essay on Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. Upcoming events Ikebana workshops will be from 10 am to noon and 2 to 4 pm Friday and Saturday …