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ျပည္သူေတြဆီမွာ လြတ္လပ္မႈနဲ႔ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ အရင္ဆံုး ရွိေနမွ ဒီမိုိကေရစီ စံႏႈန္းရွိတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Posts Tagged ‘Aung San Suu Kyi

ASEAN People’s Forum-Jakarta: Keynote Speech by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm

(Song) Cheer Aung San Suu Kyi

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

October 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

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Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi turns 65 in confinement

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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi turns 65 in confinement

By The Associated Press

Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi marked her 65th birthday Saturday locked in her dilapidated lakeside compound as calls for her freedom erupted around the world.

President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Suu Kyi’s release in statements echoed at rallies and prayer vigils. Supporters threw a birthday party at the suburban Yangon home of a fellow opposition member. It was attended by more than 300 people but not the guest of honor.

A shadow of a Myanmarese is seen as she speaks at Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday celebration in New Delhi, India, Saturday, June 19, 2010. Suu Kyi marked her 65th birthday Saturday locked in her dilapidated lakeside compound as calls for her freedom erupted around the world. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Holding candles and yellow roses, they lit a birthday cake with 65 candles and released 65 doves into the sky while chanting, “Long Live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.” Plainclothes security watched and videotaped the event.

Suu Kyi has now spent 15 birthdays in detention over the past 20 years, mostly under house arrest. She is the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate.

A Myanmar refugee holds a candle during an event to celebrate the 65th birthday of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, June 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

“It is very sad that she cannot celebrate her birthday in freedom,” said her lawyer Nyan Win.

Confined to her home, Suu Kyi planned to celebrate by providing a lunch of chicken curry and an Indian-style flat bread for the three dozen construction workers helping to renovate her crumbling two-story mansion, Nyan Win said.

A Myanmar refugee living in Malaysia releases a pigeon during an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, June 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

The tight security surrounding Suu Kyi’s home allowed the delivery of a birthday cake and a bouquet of roses, orchids and lilies sent by political supporters. Members of her National League for Democracy party are planting 20,000 trees around the country, mostly on the grounds of Buddhist monasteries, to mark the occasion.

A confidante, Win Tin, made an impassioned plea for Suu Kyi’s release.

“To the international community I want to reiterate her words: ‘Please use your liberty to promote ours,'” said Win Tin, who co-founded the party with Suu Kyi and himself spent nearly 20 years jailed as a political prisoner.

A Myanmar refugee in a traditional costume holds a candle during an event to celebrate the 65th birthday of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, June 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Global condemnation over her imprisonment has failed to change the junta’s harsh attacks on all dissent or soften their stance on Suu Kyi, whose steely grace, charisma and popularity have remained in tact despite her long confinement.

Ahead of historic elections planned for later this year, Suu Kyi remains the biggest threat to the ruling junta. Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been dominated by military rule since 1962.

The vote will be the first in two decades. Suu Kyi’s party overwhelmingly won the last election in 1990, but was never allowed to take power.

A protester eats a birthday cake during a rally outside the Myanmar Embassy at Manila’s financial district of Makati, Philippines, Friday, June 18, 2010. The protesters called for the release of Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who turns 65 on Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Obama praised Suu Kyi’s “determination, courage and personal sacrifice in working for human rights and democratic change in Burma inspire all of us who stand for freedom and justice.”

“I once again call on the Burmese government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners,” Obama said in a statement.

The U.N. chief said he remains “deeply concerned” that Suu Kyi is still under house arrest.

“I have been persistently, consistently demanding that all the political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should be released without condition as soon as possible so that they would be able to participate in the political process,” Ban said. Daw is a term of respect in Myanmar.

British Ambassador to Indonesia Martin Hatfull speaks to the media against a background of a large banner of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a press conference outside the British Embassy in Jakarta , Indonesia, Friday, June 18, 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who will celebrate her 65th birthday on Saturday, has been detained by the country’s military ruler for 14 of the past 20 years. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana )

In Britain, where concern for the jailed democracy leader runs high, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote Suu Kyi an open letter telling her that he had “long found your example deeply inspiring.”

“The injustice of your continuing detention mirrors the injustice that the regime has inflicted on your country and your people for so many years,” Cameron wrote.

Britain’s Foreign Office encouraged people from around the world to post birthday greetings on Facebook that British diplomats have pledged to pass on to Suu Kyi’s representatives.

Refugee children from Myanmar hold posters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they sing a song during an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will celebrate her 65th birthday on Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Under new election laws, Suu Kyi and other political prisoners – estimated at more than 2,000 – are effectively barred from taking part in the polls. The NLD has called the laws unfair and undemocratic and is boycotting the vote, which critics have dismissed as a sham designed to cement military rule. The party was disbanded after refusing to register for the elections by a May 6 deadline.

A refugee from Myanmar wears a T-shirt with a print of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she sings a song during an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Aung San Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will celebrate her 65th birthday on Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Suu Kyi’s detention was extended by 18 months in August 2009 when she was convicted of violating the terms of her house arrest by briefly harboring an American intruder. The sentence will keep her locked away during the elections.

Birthday candles are lit in front of an image of Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a small party of her 65th birthday at a home of a member of her party National League for Democracy Party Friday, June. 18, 2010 in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Activists and politicians have rallied from Sydney to Brussels to wish the opposition leader a happy birthday and demand her release. More candlelight vigils, concerts and Buddhist prayer ceremonies were planned later Saturday in European and American cities.

Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok , Rohan Sullivan in Sydney, Raphael Satter in London and Aoife White in Brussels contributed to this report.

The Associated Press

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jun/19/myanmars-aung-san-suu-kyi-turns-65-in-confinement/

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 20, 2010 at 9:46 am

Burma Junta Rejects Int’l Poll Monitors

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လိမ္ေပါင္းမ်ားေနၿပီျဖစ္တဲ့ နအဖ ေခါင္းေဆာင္ သန္းေရႊနဲ႔ လူမိုက္တစုက လာမယ့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲမွာ ဆက္လိမ္ဖို႔ လုပ္ေနျပန္ၿပီ။

Burma Junta Rejects Int’l Poll Monitors

By AP Wednesday, May. 12, 2010

In this image made available by the United States Embassy in Rangoon, Burma’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, meets with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, right, in Rangoon, Burma, Monday, May.10, 2010 (US Embassy ho / AP)

(RANGOON, Burma) — Burma’s military leaders have rejected international poll monitors for the country’s first elections in 20 years but asked for unspecified cooperation from the United States in supporting the vote, official media said Wednesday.

An official urged the U.S. to “show a positive attitude” about the military-organized vote, even though American envoy Kurt Campbell had already expressed deep concerns about the elections ahead of a recent visit. (See pictures of Burma’s decades-long battle for democracy.)

The polls, to be held sometime this year, have been sharply criticized as a means for the military to maintain its grip on power under a civilian guise.

During his trip, Campbell said that the run-up to the election so far leads the U.S. to believe the polls will “lack international legitimacy.” (See pictures of Burma’s slowly shifting landscape.)

“We urge the regime to take immediate steps to open the process in the time remaining before the elections,” he said.

Campbell asked if election monitors, possibly from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, would be allowed and was rebuffed.

“The nation has a lot of experience with elections. We do not need election watchdogs to come here,” the head of the Election Commission, Thein Soe, said.

“Arrangements have been made to ensure a free and fair election,” the election chief was quoted as telling Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.

Campbell, who departed Burma on Monday after a two-day visit, met with several junta ministers as well as detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Details of his talks with junta officials were published in state-run newspapers Wednesday.

“We would like to receive your kind cooperation so that the election can be held peacefully and successfully,” Information Minister Kyaw Hsan told Campbell without elaboration.

Kyaw Hsan said that he welcomed Washington’s new policy of direct engagement with Burma and urged the United States to “show a positive attitude” toward the coming election.

Campbell’s visit, his second in six months, came just days after the dissolution of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, or NLD, which won the 1990 election but was never allowed to take power.

The NLD considers newly enacted election laws unfair and undemocratic — since Suu Kyi and other political prisoners would be barred from taking part in the vote — and so declined to reregister as required, which meant it was automatically disbanded.

Critics say the elections will be engineered so that military officers, a number of whom have already shed their uniform to enter politics, will be assured of victory.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1988754,00.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

Main Opposition to Boycott Myanmar Election

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Main Opposition to Boycott Myanmar Election

New York Times – Thomas Fuller – ‎

Published: March 29, 2010

Members of the National League for Democracy said Monday that they would not register to vote after they met in Yangon, Myanmar’s main city.

BANGKOK — After months of internal debate, members of the party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the long-detained pro-democracy leader, defied Myanmar’s junta by announcing Monday that they would boycott the country’s first elections in two decades.

The move raises questions about both the future of the Burmese opposition and the credibility of the vote.

According to election laws the junta released earlier this month, the decision means that the party that has served as the mainstay of the country’s democratic movement for two decades, the National League for Democracy, will be automatically dissolved. Western governments, including the United States and Britain, had said that Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi’s participation and that of her party were prerequisites for legitimate elections.

On Monday, U Win Tin, a founding member and strategist for the party, said that more than 100 delegates were unanimous in their decision. “We will ask the people around us not to vote in the election: Please boycott,” he said in a telephone interview. He said that the party would try to continue political activities after it is disbanded. “We will work for the people,” he said.

The party had been split over whether to participate in the elections, forced to choose between participation that would undercut its principles and a boycott that would dissolve it. Last week, Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi said through a spokesman that she viewed the election process as “unjust” and that she felt that the party should not take part.

“They made a decision to maintain their dignity,” said Win Min, a lecturer in contemporary Burmese politics at Payap University in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. “They wanted to keep Aung San Suu Kyi as their leader. On the other hand, what is their alternative after this?”

Mr. Win Min said the National League for Democracy would likely be disbanded by May 6, a deadline set in the election laws. The party’s assets, including offices, might be seized. “Some members may be planning to set up a new party,” Mr. Win Min said.

The ruling generals portray the vote as part of a “roadmap” to democracy after 48 years of military rule, while diplomats and exile groups view it as window-dressing for the junta’s continued hold on power.

But some inside Myanmar say they believe the elections offer at least a modest positive step.

In recent months the military government has announced nascent liberalization measures that they see as possibly the beginning of a decentralization of power. The measures include issuing permits for private hospitals and schools and allowing private-sector management of the rice industry.

But the counterpoint to these economic measures is the consistently hard line that the military has taken with the political force it considers its archenemy, Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, 64, and her followers. Her party won a landslide victory in 1990, a result that was ignored by the ruling generals and officially nullified just this month.

The party has been weakened by two decades of harassment, intimidation and imprisonment of many of its members, including Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Win Tin. The party’s leaders are aging — Mr. Win Tin is 81 — and the membership has dwindled.

Among many restrictive measures in the election law, criminal convictions bar candidacy. This includes Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Win Tin among the estimated 2,100 political prisoners in the country, many of whom were leaders of protest movements in 1988 and 2007 and form the core of the country’s democracy movement.

Taking part in a new election would also have been a signal to people in Myanmar that the National League for Democracy had agreed to forgo its 1990 victory, Mr. Win Tin said. “We would have to give up all of our political convictions,” he said.

The party also wanted to send a signal to armed ethnic groups in the northern reaches of the country that the election was illegitimate. The junta is demanding that the ethnic groups disarm.

“A sort of civil war will flare up very soon,” Mr. Win Tin predicted.

Mr. Win Tin urged countries in Asia and the West to threaten to withhold aid to the junta. “Please put more pressure on the government,” he said. “That is my message.”

Mr. Win Tin, who wrote poetry during his nearly two decades in prison, used a concoction of water and red dust from the bricks of his cell to write his verses. He was denied pen and paper in the infamously brutal prison system.

Today, he said he is followed by military intelligence whenever he leaves the house. Agents were outside on motorcycle as he spoke to this reporter, he said.

“For me it’s as if I were still in prison,” he said. “I feel like the whole country is imprisoned,” he said.

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US Blames Burmese Government for Opposition Election Boycott

Voice of America

William Ide | Washington29 March 2010

The U.S. State Department on Monday blamed Burma’s military government for the opposition’s decision to boycott upcoming elections.  The United States called the situation in Burma “disappointing,” but added that Washington will continue its efforts to engage Rangoon.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the United States “understands and respects the decision” by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, or NLD, to not to participate in elections that are expected to be held later this year.

Crowley called the situation “regrettable.”  He pointed to the military government’s unwillingness to open up the political process to key figures and various ethnic groups in Burma as the reason for the NLD’s decision to withdraw.

“We think that that this is an opportunity lost in terms of Burma’s ability to demonstrate that it is willing to contemplate a different course of action, a different relationship with its own people and other groups within its own borders,” said Philip Crowley.

The United States calls Burma’s election rules a “mockery” of the democratic process.  Many other countries have criticized Rangoon’s election planning as deeply flawed and unfair.

Crowley said the U.S. government will continue to reach out to Burmese leaders, despite Rangoon’s decision on the course of the elections.

Burma’s election laws prohibit registered parties from having criminals in their ranks.  The NLD’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been under detention for 14 of the last 20 years, and many of her party’s officials have been held as political prisoners.

The election laws also require parties to swear allegiance to the 2008 Constitution, which guarantees the military a quarter of parliamentary seats regardless of election results.

The NLD’s announcement on Monday to boycott the elections, came after more than 100 members of the party gathered at its Rangoon headquarters.  Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, had urged the NLD not to participate in the voting, saying that the election laws are unjust.

David Steinberg, a Burma expert at Georgetown University here in Washington, says the NLD might split because of the decision it was forced to make.

“The NLD was in a very very difficult position because either to participate means that they intentionally gave up their claim to legitimacy based upon the May 1990 elections, but to not to participate means that they are moved to the political periphery,” said David Steinberg.

The National League for Democracy won Burma’s last elections in 1990, but the military refused to give up power.  Burma’s government has yet to announce a date for the upcoming elections.

Steinberg says he believes the military government is prepared to have opposition members in its new legislature.  But he notes that those voices will not be able to control critical issues the country faces.

Steinberg says the Burmese government needs the opposition to boost its credibility at home and abroad.

“Just the fact of the NLD not being in it [i.e., the elections] does not mean there will not be other opposition parties,”he said. “They are already being formed as we speak here, and how credible they will be and how successful they will be, will be a question.”

According to Burma’s election rules, all political parties have until the first week of May to register. If they do not, they will be dissolved.

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Mixed reaction to Myanmar opposition party boycott

The Associated Press (AP) –

Senior members of the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party attend the party’s central committee meeting at the party’s headquarters Monday, March. 29, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar. The party was meeting Monday to decide whether to participate in the first election in military-ruled Myanmar in two decades, the party spokesman said. A senior party member called it “a life-or-death” decision. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Members of the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party prepare to serve bananas to members of the party before its central committee meeting at the party’s headquarters Monday, March. 29, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar. The party was meeting Monday to decide whether to participate in the first election in military-ruled Myanmar in two decades, the party spokesman said. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Members of the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party stand behind a gate as they wait to serve lunch meals and bananas to members of the party before its central committee meeting at the party’s headquarters Monday, March. 29, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar. The party was meeting Monday to decide whether to participate in the first election in military-ruled Myanmar in two decades, the party spokesman said. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

A member of the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party gestures to show her opposition against the election as she sits outside the party’s headquarters Monday, March. 29, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar. The party was meeting Monday to decide whether to participate in the first election in military-ruled Myanmar in two decades, the party spokesman said. A senior party member called it “a life-or-death” decision. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

YANGON, Myanmar — Many residents of Myanmar’s largest city Tuesday greeted a decision by the party of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to boycott elections with rousing approval but others blamed it for leaving them with little choice in the military-organized balloting.

In a bold gamble, the National League for Democracy on Monday decided to opt out of the country’s first election in two decades, following the lead of the detained Nobel Prize laureate who had earlier denounced the laws guiding the election as undemocratic.

The decision, approved by an unanimous vote of the 113 executive members, spotlights the question of the polls’ credibility. The NLD won the most parliamentary seats in the last election in 1990, whose results the military refused to honor.

“It is devastating that the NLD has chosen to boycott the election. Who should I vote for when the election comes?” said a 46-year-old university teacher Myint Myint Thein.

But others approved of the decision.

“(Suu Kyi) is our icon and our leader and she is the only person who can reflect the feelings of the public. We are with her and we support her decision,” said a 55-year-old nurse, Khin Zaw.

The NLD earlier denounced the election laws, noting their provisions would bar Suu Kyi from participating, or even being a member of the party she helped found 22 years ago in the wake of a failed popular uprising against military rule.

“We will continue to pursue, through peaceful means, democracy and human rights with support, understanding and assistance from the people, ethnic nationalities and democratic forces,” said party vice chairman Tin Oo.

Although the boycott will probably mean the end of the NLD since parties who fail to register for the election are to be dissolved, the boycott could also undermine the junta’s claims that the election represents a step forward in its “roadmap for democracy.”

“The majority of the people will follow the decision because of their deep respect for (Suu Kyi), and the legitimacy and credibility of the elections will be thoroughly undermined,” said Thakin Chan Tun, a retired ambassador and veteran politician.

The election date has yet to be announced, and the lineup of the contesting parties is still unclear. But it appears the military will field a party against a number of small ones, some of them pro-military.

“I think the NLD has made a major blunder by not contesting in the election. We are all set to vote for NLD candidates and now we are left without any choice,” said Mie Mie, a jewelry shop owner.

Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, general-secretary of the recently formed Democratic Party, said the best way to serve the people and country was to get as many opposition seats as possible in the new parliament.

The reaction of the international community, which has already expressed doubt over the fairness of the polls, could be crucial in determining whether the election will proceed smoothly. The junta hopes holding the vote will ease pressure for political reforms and accommodation with the country’s pro-democracy movement.

At the same time, the party risks being further marginalized. It has been the focal point for opposition to military rule, even though it has faced fierce repression. If it loses its status as a legal party, it may face tighter restrictions.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that U.S. officials “understand and respect” the NLD decision. “This is a reflection of the unwillingness of the government in Burma to take what we thought were the necessary steps to open up the political process and to engage in serious dialogue,” Crowley said.

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 30, 2010 at 7:35 am

UK Favors Sending Myanmar to ICC, China Says It’s Sovereign, UN’s Ban Defers

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UK Favors Sending Myanmar to ICC, China Says It’s Sovereign, UN’s Ban Defers

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 — Amid calls to refer the military government of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court, like Sudan was referred, UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the Press on Wednesday that his country would support such a referral. But, he said, the Security Council lacks the unanimity necessary for such a referral. Video here.

Inner City Press asked China’s new Ambassador to the UN Li Baodong what his country thinks of the Council discussing Myanmar’s election laws. “General elections in a country is a matter of sovereign states,” he replied, “and should be respected.” This principle, he said, applies to Myanmar. Video here, from Minute 2:50.

When Lyall Grant emerged to speak about Myanmar, or Burma, Inner City Press asked him about China position. We disagree, he said, noting that Myanmar is on the agenda of the Security Council, that it can instability that is a threat to international peace and security.

But when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the media, Inner City Press asked him about Aung San Suu Kyi’s call on her National League for Democracy to not register for the upcoming elections, given how flawed the election laws are.

“Let me answer tomorrow afternoon,” Ban Ki-moon told Inner City Press. Video here from Minute 7:34, UN transcript below. There will be a meeting of Ban’s Group of Friends on Myanmar, to be addressed by Ban’s chief of staff Vijay Nambiar. We’ll be there.


UN’s Ban and China’s Li Baodong, Friends on Myanmar

Footnotes: On March 23, Inner City Press asked Ban’s spokesman to confirm or deny that Ban proposed a former Indonesian foreign minister to replace Ibrahim Gambari as his envoy to Myanmar, but that Than Shwe vetoed it. Nesirky said, “that’s the first I hear of it,” despite the report being included in an article Nesirky said was the only story alleging that Nambiar secretly traveled to Myanmar earlier this year.

Inner City Press asked the UK’s Lyall Grant if the UK believe that a permanent replaced for Gambari should be named. His reply noted that Nambiar is only in the position on an “interim” basis. As Inner City Press has previously reported, the U.S. has said it prefers not naming a permanent replacement until after the elections, so that the person is “not stained” by the elections.

From the March 24 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask in the run-up to this meeting with the Group of Friends of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has said that her party, the NLD [National League for Democracy], and other opposition parties, shouldn’t even register for the poll, that the election laws are flawed. I’m wondering; you convened the meeting, what’s your thinking of what the UN can do, given that the main opponent now wants to boycott it?

SG Ban: let me answer tomorrow afternoon after I have convened the meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar. I need to discuss this matter with the ambassadors participating in that meeting. I will have a clearer answer, if you excuse me.

* * *

As London Calls for Myanmar Elections Meeting, UN Denies Nambiar Trip, His Replacement Vetoed?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 16, updated — Responding to the election laws proclaimed by Myanmar’s military government, excluding Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisons from running for office, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he has requested an emergency meeting at the UN in New York. But what kind of meeting?

As the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant walked into the Security Council on Tuesday morning, he was asked about his prime minister’s statement: would the UK be asking for a Security Council meeting? He paused, then replied, “Uh, no comment on that, I’ll get back to you.”

While one might expect the UK Mission to the UN to be able to, and to be eager to, explain a letter to the UN from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, further inquiry by Inner City Press indicates that Brown’s request is for a meeting of the Group of Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar, which includes among others former Council member Indonesia.

A former UN correspondent now in Washington reports that “the Burmese military junta is understood to have ‘vetoed’ the name of Noer Hassan Wirajuda, the former Indonesian foreign minister, as the new UN Envoy for Burma.” The UN has denied another portion of this report.

Update: at the conclusion of his March 16 press conference, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon if he had received a letter from Gordon Brown requesting a meeting of his Group of Friends on Myanmar. There may soon be a meeting of the Group of Friends, Mr. Ban answered, but said twice that he has not received a letterfrom Gordon Brown.

The UK-MFA press release quotes Gordon Brown that “I have today written to the UN Secretaty General to call for an urgent meeting in New York to discuss these developments.” So can the UK not deliver a letter?

Some said that Brown, if and when his letter is delivered, has only requested a meeting with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, whose chief of staff Vijay Nambiar has replaced previous UN envoy on Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari, at least on an interim basis. On March 15, Inner City Press asked Mr. Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: did Vijay Nambiar travel to Myanmar? There are some reports that the letter described by the Secretary-General some time ago at his stakeout was in fact delivered by Mr. Nambiar. Can you confirm or deny that?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I have seen one report, not some reports. I’ve seen one report, and I have been in touch with Mr. Nambiar, and he says it’s not true.

At a reception for the press corp in Nesirky’s office Monday evening, Mr. Ban and his deputy chief of staff Kim Won-soo appeared, but not Mr. Nambiar.


Gordon Brown in NY by TV, UK Mission and Nambiar not shown

Footnotes: Talk at the reception turned to the Non Aligned Movement’s letter to Ban chastising him for announcing he will appoint a panel to advise himself about accountability for possible war crimes in Sri Lanka, a topic on which we hope to have more later today. [Update: Inner City Press asked Ban, click here.]

And perhaps on the UK request, too. Just after 11 a.m., with the Security Council still meeting about the stage leaks Somalia Sanctions report, the UK’s Lyall Grant left the Council, deep in conversation with an aide about “the letter.” Did the UK Mission to the UN not get the memo?

Finally, some note long standing reports that the UK is either dissatisfied with Mr. Nambiar’s performance or wants the chief of staff post it previously occupied via Mark Malloch Brown, or both. But, the reasoning goes, to move Nambiar out of the chef de cabinet post but keep him as (India’s) Under Secretary General, he would need the Myanmar envoy post. If it is being filled by another, how might this game of musical chairs end? Watch this site.

http://www.innercitypress.com/ukch1myan032410.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Myanmar Refuses To Rescind Controversial Election Law

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Myanmar Refuses To Rescind Controversial Election Law

3/17/2010 12:44 PM ET

Myanmar has refused the Philippines’ call to repeal the controversial election law that denies detained Opposition pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi participation in the election, expected to be held later this year.

Myanmar’s defiance of calls by international community to rescind the controversial law was reflected Wednesday during a meeting between its Foreign Minister U Nyan Win and his Philippines counterpart Alberto Romulo on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement’s meeting on interfaith dialogue in Manila.

Talking to reporters after the closed door meeting, the Philippines Foreign Secretary said he was disappointed with the meeting because Nyan Win “didn’t talk much.”

Romulo added that when he sought explanation as to why Suu Kyi will be barred from elections, the Myanmar Foreign Minister replied that “that was the law.”

Romulo said Myanmar should live up to its commitment to institute political reforms in the country.

He said he will urge his counterparts in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to press Myanmar to repeal the law during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ summit to be held in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, on April 8.

But ASEAN has a standing policy of non-interference in each others’ internal affairs.

Nyan Win evaded questions by reporters during the Manila conference.

Myanmar’s military government published last week five long-awaited election laws it passed recently, setting the stage for polls it pledged to hold later this year.

The authorities have already made it clear that the Nobel Peace laureate will not be allowed to take part in the polls, as she was married to a British academic. The Myanmarese constitution bans anyone married to a foreign national from holding political office.

The new law tightens the clutches on Suu Kyi, preventing her from leading her own party or playing any role in election campaigning.

The U.S. government has said it will continue to hold political dialogue with Myanmar’s military junta despite “regrettable” new election laws, but vowed that sanctions would remain in place.

The State Department denounced the new laws, saying that it has made a mockery of the democratic process.

Both the United States and the United Nations have accused the country of committing a “gross and systematic violation of human rights.”

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 18, 2010 at 3:59 am