Save Burma

ျပည္သူေတြဆီမွာ လြတ္လပ္မႈနဲ႔ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ အရင္ဆံုး ရွိေနမွ ဒီမိုိကေရစီ စံႏႈန္းရွိတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Archive for December 2nd, 2009

World focus on Burma (2.12.2009)

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Doubts stalk Myanmar amid signs of detente

Saudi Gazette – ‎

That followed signals from Myanmar it may be softening its stance on Suu Kyi, daughter of General Aung San, a Burmese national hero assassinated in 1947. …

Good Feelings in Life are Free Courtesy Nokia and UNICEF

Sense Applied (blog) – ‎

Last year Nokia donated 250000 Euros for reconstruction of cyclone hit schools in Myanmar / Burma , there is no cost to any of us , all we have to do is …

NE Borders Reassessed

KanglaOnline –

Had the British officer decided to keep Burma as a princely state like Manipur and Tripura for instance, in all likelihood, at the time of the British …

Detroit’s sad Gypsies

Detroit Metro Times – Jack Lessenberry – ‎

“The ‘Sea Gypsies’ are nomadic people who live in a cluster of islands off Burma (Myanmar) and the west coast of Thailand. They have survived using a …

Nigerian diplomat to be appointed as head of Darfur peacekeeping mission

Sudan Tribune –

He was also the UN Chief special envoy to Myanmar. The appointment will likely please Nigeria which was angered not to be offered the position of the post …

Darfur Post to Gambari Confirmed, us’s Kurt Campbell and uk’s Burma Shave

Inner City Press – Matthew Russell Lee

An involved Ambassador told Inner City Press that the cynical explanation is that the United Kingdom wants someone more strident to be the envoy to Myanmar, …

See-saw in democracy signs

AsiaOne –

But, though regional leaders and some Western diplomats see opportunities for a breakthrough in the political stalemate in military-ruled Myanmar, …

Wednesday, December 9

eTaiwan News –

1996 – Riot police chase protesting students through the streets of Rangoon, Burma, now known as Myanmar, and the military government closes universities. …

China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh is wrong: Dorjee Khandu

India Business Blog (blog) – ‎

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Bhagwat said: “China has encircled us, it has its base in Burma (Myanmar)…. New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) A delegation of …

Future looks bleak for ethnic Rohingya

Media Monitors Network – Nurul Islam – ‎

In Arakan, the Rohingyas have been suddenly made an illegal immigrant community by the Burmese military regime through an amendment to the Burma citizenship …

A safe abode eludes Rohingya

Financial Express Bangladesh – Nurul Islam

… in western Myanmar, on the Naaf river. which demarcates the boundary between Myanmar and Bangladesh. When Burma gained independence from the UK in 1948, …

South by Southeast: The man from Kathmandu

Gadling (blog) – Jeremy Kressmann – ‎

… critiques of the Burmese military junta, dirty jokes, stories about his wife – even some anecdotes about his life in Myanmar and time with Pico. …

A Burma Policy for India

Wall Street Journal – Benedict Rogers – ‎

Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of Burma’s opposition party, went to school in New Delhi, for instance, where she became childhood friends with …


Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 2, 2009 at 1:04 am

Posted in World Focus on Burma

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A Burma Policy for India

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A Burma Policy for India

Prime Minister Singh can support democracy and engage the regime, too.

By BENEDICT ROGERS

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had a largely successful summit with President Barack Obama last week. There is, however, one issue which remains cause for concern: India’s Burma policy.

India has a particular historical responsibility for Burma, in part because in colonial times the two countries were ruled by the British as one. Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of Burma’s opposition party, went to school in New Delhi, for instance, where she became childhood friends with Jawaharlal Nehru’s grandchildren. Past Indian governments have honored this link: During the 1998 prodemocracy protests, Rajiv Gandhi’s government expressed support for Ms. Suu Kyi.

India’s policy has shifted in recent years, thanks to concerns about the need to counterbalance China’s influence and a wish to increase trade. In 2004, Burma agreed to sell India some 80% of the power generated from a dam in Sagaing Division in return for Indian construction assistance. India also sought a military alliance with the regime, including an agreement to provide arms and military training to the Burmese army, in the hopes of getting help in crushing insurgents in northeastern India.

On balance the expected benefits have not materialized. In 2006, the Burmese regime awarded China a huge natural gas contract, even though India had offered a higher bid and Burma’s generals had earlier promised the deal to India. Meanwhile, Burma’s assistance in fighting Indian insurgents has been minimal, and the arms India sold have instead been used to suppress Burma’s own people. The energy projects resulted in land confiscation, the displacement of thousands of people, and accompanying human-rights violations including rape, torture and forced labor.

India is mistaken if it believes it can really compete with China’s influence in Burma. China’s annual bilateral trade with Burma is already one-and-a-half times India’s, and Beijing has become one of the regime’s closest friends. It is very likely that as Burma’s regime starts to engage with the U.S. and continues to depend on China for protection, India will find itself squeezed out.

India has also remained silent on Burma’s human-rights violations in a bid to curry favor with the regime. India joined Belarus, China, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe last month in voting against a resolution on Burma’s human-rights abuses at the United Nations General Assembly.

It is not too late for India to revise its position and develop its own distinctive Burma policy supportive of democracy. Mr. Singh and his government could raise concerns more robustly with the regime; support Burma resolutions at the U.N.; seek regular meetings with Ms. Suu Kyi; and press the regime to review the new constitution and engage in meaningful dialogue with all political parties ahead of next year’s elections. On the military front, an immediate and complete end to the provision of arms and military training to Burma’s regime would be welcome. India might also be consider permitting international humanitarian aid cross-border to victims of famine and severe poverty in western Burma, and funding Burma’s civil-society groups.

A senior official in India’s Ministry of External Affairs told me recently that “our hearts are still with the democracy movement in Burma, but our heads are with the generals.” India needs to combine head and heart and realize that in the long-run it is in its own national interest to promote democracy in Burma.

Mr. Rogers, East Asia team leader at Christian Solidarity Worldwide in London, is author of “Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant,” forthcoming from Silkworm Books.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574564913674717216.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 2, 2009 at 12:17 am