Friday, February 29, 2008

Lawyer says detained Burmese activists face new charge carrying 20-year jail term

AP - 1 hour 12 minutes ago

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military junta has charged about 20 pro-democracy activists under a security law that carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a lawyer said Friday.

The detained dissidents, being held at Yangon's notorious Insein prison, were earlier charged with violating the Printing and Publishing Act, for which they face a maximum seven years imprisonment, said defense lawyer Aung Thein.

The dissidents were detained in connection with last year's mass pro-democracy demonstrations, which were violently suppressed in September by the government.

They include prominent activists Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi of the 88 Generation Students group, whose demonstrations against economic hardship helped spark the broader September protests.

No trial has yet been scheduled, he said, adding that he has not yet been able to meet his clients.

The authorities must file charges in order to continue to hold the prisoners, and may not necessarily prosecute them on those charges if and when their case come to trial.

Members of the 88 Generation Students were at the forefront of an abortive 1988 pro-democracy uprising and were subjected to lengthy prison terms and torture after the rebellion was brutally suppressed by the military.

The new charge comes under the so-called 5/96 law declaring that anyone who demonstrates, makes speeches or writes statements undermining stability will face up to 20 years in prison. The exact date it was filed against the activists was not clear.

Min Ko Naing and more than a dozen other activists were arrested on Aug. 21 after staging a street protest against a massive fuel-price hike. Other activists were arrested in late September after peaceful protests led by monks were violently quashed.

The U.N. estimates at least 31 people were killed and thousands more were detained in the crackdown.

Arrests of journalists, activists and bloggers continued after the September crackdown.

In late January, the human rights group Amnesty International said that at least 700 people who were arrested as a result of the September protests remain in prison, while 1,150 political prisoners held prior to the protests have not been released. More than 80 others remain unaccounted for since September, the group said.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Treasury Sanctions On Burma Traffickers Implicate CNOOC

အေမရိကန္ရဲ႕ ပစ္မွတ္ထဲက တရုပ္စီးပြားေရး၀ိသမ ေလာဘသားမ်ား

The latest sanctions issued by the U.S. Treasury have apparently implicated CNOOC, China's largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas, which is alleged to have been cooperating with a company run by a family notorious for its heroin-trafficking activities to explore oil and gas in Burma.....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

High labor productivity equals human dignity

ဖြ.ံျဖးူိ ျခင္္း ဟူသည္ဆင္းရဲျခင္းမွ ၾကြယ္၀ျခင္းသုိ.ေပါင္းကးူေပးျခင္း၊ ရုိးရာေက်းလက္စီးပါြးေရးပုံစံမွ ပုိမုိနက္နဲေသာကမာၻ ျမဳိ႕ျပစီးပါြးေရးပုံစံ သုိ႔ကးူ ေျပာင္း ေပးျခင္းထက္အဓိပါယ္ပုိေပသည္။

ဖြ.ံျဖးူိ ျခင္္းသည္စီးပါြးေရးအေျခအေနပုိမုိေကာင္းမြန္ေစ၇ုံမက လူသားတုိ.ဂုဏ္သိ္ိဏၡာ၊ လုံျခံဳမူ႔၊ တရားမု်တမူ.၊ စိတ္ထားျမင္႔ ျမတ္မူ႔ တုိ႔ျဖစ္၏။



High labor productivity equals human dignity

An International Labor Organization (ILO) report released last September placed Philippine labor productivity—the output per person employed—at the low end of the Southeast Asian countries.

The report, “Key Indicators of the Labor Market,” said that in US dollar terms labor productivity in the country stands at US$7,271 per person employed, lower than neighboring market economies such as Singapore, US$47,975; Malaysia, US$22,112; Thailand, US$13,915 and Indonesia, US$9,022.

But the country’s labor productivity is higher than state-led economies, such as Vietnam, US$4,809; Myanmar, US$4,541 and Cambodia, US$2,853.

It’s still the United States that leads the world in labor productivity.

Labor productivity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the ILO said, “was stagnant and much slower than other regions” with an average annual increase of only 1.6 percent between 1996 and 2006. “Workers in the region produced only a seventh of their developed economy counterparts,” the ILO said.

East Asia’s workers, by comparison, produce twice as much as they did 10 years ago. Theirs is the world’s highest productivity increase.

A 2006 survey of the Asian Development Bank found the Philippines to be number 11 in labor productivity among 13 selected Asian countries. We were just a few dollars higher than Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Philippines has a lot of catching up to do, and the stark figures bear this out. But we must not assign the blame to others—the statisticians, the IMF-World Bank for its structural adjustment loans, the government for being corrupt and insensitive to the workers or the workers themselves for being powerless or unwilling to improve themselves more rigorously than other peoples of the region.

Low wages—which means underpayment of labor—has always been a characteristic of underdevelopment. Worse than unemployment, underpayment further is a sign of exploitation. No wonder Filipino college graduates and professionals go abroad if they can to earn higher wages.

Many Filipinos are only able to keep their families fed, clothed and the children schooled by working away from their families. They keep the Republic afloat and suffer from diminished purchasing power with the high peso to dollar rate.

The unabated exodus of Filipino talents and skills and the social costs of the OFW phenomenon are top concerns of the Department of Labor and Employment. It has adopted strategies to raise the productivity of Filipino labor.

Through the National Wages and Productivity Commission, it conducts labor education programs, specifically focused on productivity.

The 2008 Productivity Olympics is one such project. It was launched Thursday, February 21. It is a national competition among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to find the best in two categories: people development and business excellence. Enterprises that have been in operation for at least three years by October 1 last year may join.

The project promotes worker awareness of the importance of consciously improving in productivity while promoting employer awareness of how to satisfy their workers with goodies in addition to better wages. It pushes the enterprises—their owners and managers and their workers—to strive to become more competitive.

Labor Secretary Arturo Brion says that the Productivity Olympics has helped in capacity building among the micro, small and medium enterprises in the industrial, services and agricultural sectors.

The companies that participate in the Olympics benefit by becoming more and more profitable. The workers benefit by getting better pay and, with their skills enhanced, finding better work opportunities abroad and get really much higher income.

The administration’s economic managers keep bragging of having sustained GDP growth all these seven years that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been president. 2007 was the best year of the economy in 31 years. They must now, these being days of loud and growing expressions of disgust over the alleged corruption of high officials, pay more attention to the plight of the workers.

A happy population of workers can ensure peace and stability, which in turn will ensure that President Arroyo finishes her term in glory instead of opprobrium.

Helping the Filipino workers raise their labor productivity not only increases their worth in money. They also see themselves rise in dignity.

That makes them more disposed to growing also in civility and culture, making the Filipinos the bright and happy race God wants them to be.

Commodity Price Index Data ( Jan-Feb 2008)

ေဖေဖၚ၀ါရီ လမွာ ၿမန္မာနူိင္ငံ၌ ရွိ ေသာ ကုန္ေစ်းနူန္း အေၿခအေန


Rest of your post

Monday, February 25, 2008

NO VOTE Campaign

A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

Mahatma Ghandi

တိုင္းျပည္အနာဂတ္အတြက္ ဘယ္ဘက္ကၾကည့္ၾကည့္လက္ခံဖို ့မ႐ွိတဲ့ အေျခခံဥပေဒမူၾကမ္း ကို ဆန္ ့က်င္ဖို ့အတြက္ လက္႐ွိကာလမွာ ဆႏၵခံယူပြဲ မျဖစ္ေျမာက္ေရး (NO VOTE) အတြက္ ပဲတိုက္ပြဲ ဝင္ရမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါမွသာ က်ေနာ္တို ့အေနနဲ ့ ကန္ ့ကြက္မဲေပးေရး (VOTE NO) ဆို တဲ့ အဆင့္ကို အမွားကာ အျဖစ္ဆက္လက္ ပိုင္ဆိုင္ႏိုင္ပါလိမ့္မယ္။ အခုအခ်ိန္ကတည္းက ကန္ ့ကြက္မဲေပးေရး ၊ ၂၀၁၀ ေ႐ြးေကာက္ပြဲ တရားမွ်တေရး စတဲ့ အခ်က္ေတြကို ဆြဲကိုင္ထား မယ္ဆိုလို ့ကေတာ့ တိုင္းျပည္ ရဲ ့အနာဂတ္လြတ္ေတာ္ဟာ စစ္အာဏာ႐ွင္ေမြးျမဴေရး စခန္းႀကီး ျဖစ္ဖို ့ ရာခိုင္းႏႈန္းေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ား ေသခ်ာေနေၾကာင္း သတိေပးပါရေစ။
ဥတၱရေအာင္ ( မ်ိဳးခ်စ္ဒီမုိကရက္တစ္ တစ္ေပါင္းစု)

Treasury penalizes Junta's supporters : Steven Law ( Son of Lo Hsing Han " Godfather of Heroin")

အေမရိကန္ ရဲ႕ပစ္မွတ္ထဲက
ျမန္မာ့စီးပြားေရး ၀ိသမေလာဘသားမ်ား
Steven Law's Financial Network

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Myanmar over human rights abuses, on Monday announced more economic sanctions against businesses and individuals linked to the country's military leaders.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it was banning Americans from doing business with Asia World Co Ltd, a Myanmar company controlled by Steven Law and his father, Lo Hsing Han, which the Treasury described as "financial operatives" of the Myanmar regime.

The action, taken under an executive order enacted last year after Myanmar's military crackdowns against protesters, also seeks to freeze any assets the firms and individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Myanmar's junta in September crushed the biggest pro-democracy protests in nearly 20 years, killing at least 15 people.

The Treasury said Law and his father, Lo, have a history of illicit activities that have supported the Myanmar junta. It described Lo as the "Godfather of Heroin" who has been one of the world's top traffickers of the drug since the early 1970s. In 1992, Lo founded Asia World Co Ltd. a company that has received numerous lucrative government concessions, including construction of ports, highways and government facilities, the Treasury said.

Law now serves as managing director of the company, and the sanctions were extended to his wife, Cecelia Ng. The Treasury also blacklisted 10 Singapore-based companies owned by Ng, including property firm Golden Aaron Pte Ltd.

The latest round of sanction is the fourth that the Bush administration has imposed against the Myanmar government since the democracy protests last year.

"Unless the ruling junta in Burma halts the violent oppression of its people, we will continue to target those like Steven Law who sustain it and who profit corruptly because of that support," Stuart Levey, the Treasury's undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Fire at Yadanarpon market in Mandalay!

There is a fire at Yadanarpon market (Mandalay) now.

The fire continue to burn until now (8:00 AM - 9:55 AM) as thousands
of people and shop owners watch hopelessly. The market was just opened
when the fire broke out at 8:00 AM and blamed for wire shocks and fire
fighters were afraid to go inside due to smokes and watch from
outside. Previously, last two days ago..according to sources, two
firemen were killed at Shumawa Slipper building fire and as result,
the fire fighters are afraid to go into the building.

Yadanarpon market is located on the coner of 32st and 78 St and famous
Manadlay MICT park (computer city) , Skywalk shopping complex, Orange
Super Market, relax Snookers and restaurant and thousands of shops are
located in that market. Yandanarpon is the second biggest market after
Zaycho market and was opend in 2000 and contributes significantly
important for business of Mandalay.

Rest of your post

Sunday, February 24, 2008

· A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

ျပည္ပေရာက္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ားႏွင့္ ဂ်ပန္ႏုိင္ငံရွိ ့ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံသားမ်ား ေတြ႕ဆုံေဆြးေႏြးပြဲ က်င္းပျပဳလုပ္

Saturday, February 23, 2008

အိႏၵိယက ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံက ဂတ္စ္ေတြ ထုတ္ယူေတာ့မယ္

ရန္ကုန္၊ ဆင္ဟြာ ၂၀ ရက္၊ ေဖေဖာ္၀ါရီ

အက္ဆာ (Essar) ေခၚ အိႏၵိယ ေရနံကုမၸဏီက လြန္ခဲ့တဲ့ ႏွစ္ႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ကတည္းက ျမန္မာစစ္အစိုးရနဲ႔ ခ်ဳပ္ ဆိုထားတဲ့သေဘာတူစာခ်ဳပ္အရ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ အေနာက္ဘက္ ရခို္င္ကမ္း႐ုိးတန္း ကုန္းတြင္းပိုင္းတစ္ေနရာ မွာ ဒီႏွစ္အတြင္း သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ကို စတင္ စမ္းသပ္တူးေဖာ္ေတာ့မွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

တူးေဖာ္မဲ့ေနရာကေတာ့ ရခို္င္ျပည္နယ္စစ္ေတြၿမိဳ႕မွာ႐ွိတဲ့ လုပ္ကြက္ အမွတ္ အယ္ (L) မွာတူးေဖၚမွာပါ။ လုပ္ကြက္ (L) က ၂၀၀၅ ခုႏွစ္က ျမန္မာ့ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ လုပ္ငန္း နဲ႔ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တူးေဖာ္ဖို႔စာခ်ဳပ္ခ်ဳပ္ ဆိုထားတဲ့ ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တြင္းႏွစ္ခုထဲက တစ္ခုျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ေနာက္တစ္ခုကေတာ့ ေရနံလုပ္ကြက္ အမွတ္ A2 ပါ။ အဲဒါကေတာ့ ရခို္င္ကမ္း႐ုိးတန္းေပၚမွာ ႐ွိၿပီးေနာက္ ပုိင္းမွာ တူးေဖာ္မွာလို႔ အစီရင္ခံစာထဲမွာ ေဖာ္ျပထား ပါတယ္။

အက္ဆာ (Essar) ကေတာ့ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တူးေဖာ္တဲ့ အိႏၵိကုမၸဏီႏွစ္ခုျဖစ္တဲ့ ONGC Videsh လီမိတက္နဲ႔ အိႏၵိယႏုိင္ငံဓာတ္ေငြ႕ထုတ္ေဖာ္ေရးအာဏာရ႐ွိထားတဲ့ GAIL ကုမၸဏီတို႔ၿပီးရင္ တတိယ ကုမၸဏီတစ္ခုပါ။ ONGC နဲ႔ GAIL တို႔ဟာ ၂၀၀၀ ခုႏွစ္ကတည္းက ရခိုင္ကမ္း႐ိုးတန္းမွာ႐ွိတဲ့ လုပ္ကြက္ အမွတ္ A – 1 နဲ႔ A – 3 တို႔ကို ေတာင္ကိုရီးယား ေဒ၀ူးအျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာ ေကာ္ပိုေရး႐ွင္း၊ ေတာင္ကိုရီးယား ဂတ္စ္္ေကာ္ပိုေရး႐ွင္းတို႔ ႏွင့္ စပ္တူ တူးေဖာ္ခဲ့ၾကတာပါ။ အဲဒါကိုေတာ့ ေဒ၀ူးကုမၸဏီက ဦးေဆာင္ၿပီးတူးေဖာ္ပါတယ္။

အေစာပိုင္းက စစ္အစိုးရဘက္ကရ႐ွိတဲ့ အစီရင္ခံစာမ်ားအရ၊ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့စက္တင္ဘာလအတြင္းက ONGC ကုမၸဏီက ရခို္င္ကမ္းလြန္ေရနက္ပိုင္းမွာ႐ွိတဲ့ လုပ္ကြက္ အမွတ္ AD -2, AD – 3 နဲ႔ AD – 9 တို႔မွာ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တူးေဖာ္ဖို႔ စစ္အစိုးရနဲ႔ တစ္ဦးတည္းသီးသန္႔ စာခ်ဳပ္ခ်ဳပ္ဆိုခဲ့ပါတယ္။

အထူးသျဖင့္ ျမန္မာ့ကမ္းလြန္ပင္လယ္ျပင္မွာ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ အေျမာက္အမ်ားထြက္႐ွိပါတယ္။ ကမ္း လြန္ပင္လယ္ျပင္မွာ႐ွိတဲ့ အဓိက ေရနံ နဲ႔သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တြင္း ၃ ခုအပါအ၀င္၊ ကမ္းနီးမွာ႐ွိတဲ့ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ တြင္း ၁၉ တြင္းက ထြက္႐ွိတဲ့ ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ပမာဏ ထရီလီယံ ၂.၅၄ ကုဗမီတာ ထဲက ၅၁၀ ဘီလီယံကို ေရာင္းခ်ၿပီးသြားပါၿပီ။ တန္ဖိုးအားျဖင့္ ေရာင္းခ်ၿပီးတဲ့ ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ ပမာဏ ဟာ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၃.၂ ဘီလီယံ ဖိုးေလာက္႐ွိပါတယ္။

ဗဟုိစာရင္းအင္း ႒ာန ရဲ႕ စာရင္းဇယားမ်ားအရ ၂၀၀၆ - ၂၀၀၇ ဘ႑ာေရးႏွစ္မွာ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံက ေရနံစိမ္း ၇.၇၀၇ မီလီယံ နဲ႔ ဂတ္စ္ ကုဗမီတာ ၁၃.၀၃၉ ဘီလီယံ ထုတ္လုပ္ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ ႏုိင္ငံျခားသုို႔ ဂတ္စ္ ကုဗမီတာ ၁၃.၀၂၈ ဘီလီယံ ေရာင္းခ်ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ ႏုိင္ငံျခား၀င္ေငြ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၂.၀၃ ဘီလီယံရ႐ွိခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ေနာက္ထပ္ရ႐ွိတ့ဲ စာရင္းဇယားမ်ားအရ ၂၀၀၇-၂၀၀၈ ခုႏွစ္ ပထမႏွစ္၀က္ (April –September) အတြင္းမွာ ထုတ္လုပ္ရ႐ွိေသာ ေရနံစိမ္းပမာဏဟာ ၃.၈၅၇ မီလီယံ ႐ွိၿပီး၊ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ပမာဏဟာ ကုဗမီတာ ၆.၇၄ ဘီလီယံ ႐ွိပါတယ္။ ျပည္ပကိုေရာင္းခ်ဖို႔မွတ္ပံုတင္ထားၿပီးတဲ့သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ပမာဏ ဟာ ကုဗမီတာ ၉.၁၇ ဘီလီယံ႐ွိၿပီး၊ တန္ဖိုးအားျဖင့္ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၁.၅၃၁ ဘီလီယံဖိုး ႐ွိပါတယ္။

၂၀၀၇ ႏွစ္ကုန္ပိုင္းအထိ စာရင္းဇယားမ်ားအရ စီမံကိန္း ၈၅ ခုအနက္ ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ ထုတ္လုပ္မႈမွာ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ ရင္းႏွီးျမွဳပ္ႏွံမႈပမာဏဟာ တန္ဖိုးအားျဖင့္ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၃.၂၄၃ ဘီလီယံအထိ႐ွိသြားၿပီလို႔ သိရပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ ေရနံ နဲ႔ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ က႑မွာ ရင္းႏွီးျမွဳပ္ႏွံမႈ ဟာ ၁၉၈၈ ေနာက္ပိုင္းမွာ စခဲ့တာပါ။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ လွ်ပ္စစ္က႑ၿပီးလွ်င္ ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ အတြက္ စစ္အစိုးရရဲ႕ ရင္းႏွီးျမွုဳပ္ႏွံမႈဟာ ဒုတိယေနရာကေန လိုက္ပါတယ္။

ယခုလက္႐ွိမွာ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ ေရနံ ႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ဓာတ္ေငြ႕ ထုတ္ယူေရးစီမံကိန္းမွာ ၾသစေတးလ်၊ ၿဗိတိန္၊ ကေနဒါ၊ တ႐ုတ္၊ အင္ဒိုနီး႐ွား၊ အိႏိၵယ၊ ေတာင္ကိုရီးယား၊ မေလး႐ွား၊ ထိုင္း နဲ႔ ႐ု႐ွ ႏုိင္ငံတို႔ ပါ၀င္ပါတယ္။

Yangon, Feb. 20 (Xinhua)

Friday, February 22, 2008

"We believe that the credibility of the political process is going to depend on whether it is inclusive enough so that all can participate"( U.N)

U.N. envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 22, 2008. Gambari said Friday he was frustrated with Burma's slow progress toward democracy, but was hopeful that Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi would be allowed to take part in planned elections.
(AP Photo/Achmad)

U.N. Envoy's mission impossible

Larry Jagan
Mizzima News
February 22, 2008
The main problem for the U.N. envoy is that he is likely to only be given access to lower level officials.

"Than Shwe is still furious at Gambari because he smuggled out a letter from Aung San Suu Kyi [which he made public in Singapore on his way back to New York to report to the UN Secretary General] last time," the Chiang Mai-based Burmese academic Win Min told Mizzima.

"He didn't see Gambari then, and Than Shwe is even less inclined to meet him this time." This is something sources close to the U.N. envoy admit is almost certain to be the case again. It is even possible he will be denied access to Aung San Suu Kyi and the opposition.

"As long as Gambari is able to stress the international community's concerns to the generals – and Than Shwe hears it, even if its second hand -- that will be an important measure of whether this forthcoming trip is a success or not," a spokesman for the Burmese opposition abroad, Zin Linn told Mizzima................

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bomb blast in Mae Sot, 13 injured

Mizzima News
February 22, 2008

At least thirteen Burmese nationals were seriously injured when a bomb exploded this morning in the Thai-Burmese border town of Mae Sot, where thousands of Burmese migrants live.

The explosion took place at about 8:35 a.m. (local time) near a dustbin on the outskirts of town, opposite Myawaddy in Burma.

Mizzima correspondent Aung tin, who visited the site, said, "The explosion took place about five minutes after truck no. 3 came to dispose of waste. There were about 30 people at the dustbin. The explosion was quite strong, some received injuries to the eyes and face."

Among those seriously injured are: Zaw Oo, age 31; Khin Thanda Oo, age 16; and Daw Nweh, age 50.

Others sustaining wounds from the blast include: Zaw Min Tun, age 25; Daw Mee, Age 50; Saw Htwe, age 20; Aung Moe, age 8; Phoe Da, age 30, who was hit in the eye; Cho Pyone, age 28; Than Ngwe, age 45; Chit The, age 10; Ko Win, age 39; and a man of age 60.

All the victims were rushed to Mae Sot hospital's emergency unit.

The dustbin, which covers at least four acres of land, is used for dumping waste from Mae Sot. Burmese migrant families living near the dustbin make a living by collecting plastic and other useful material, which is then resold.

Regularly, from 12 midnight to 8 in the morning, trucks arrive to dump waste collected from town.

At least 300 Burmese nationals, mainly from the cities of Rangoon, Pegu, and Moulmein, reportedly reside around the dustbin.

On February 14, Karen rebel leader Pado Mahn Sha was assassinated at his residence in Mae Sot.

ASEAN says Myanmar must have credible elections

SINGAPORE, Feb 20 (Reuters) - An election planned by Myanmar's generals must be credible, the Association of South East Nations said on Wednesday, adding the outcome would affect all members of the 10-nation group.

Myanmar's ruling generals this month announced a referendum in May on a new constitution, to be followed by an election in 2010. If held, the poll would be the first since a 1990 election whose outcome the military ignored.

"What we are concerned about is the credibility of the process," Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo said.

"There must be provisions for independent verification and many of us expressed the view that Myanmar cannot ignore the international dimension," he told reporters after a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in the city-state.

Myanmar's military rulers will not allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take part in the proposed elections because she had been married to a foreigner, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Yeo said his Myanmar counterpart told a regional meeting on Tuesday that the new constitution barred Suu Kyi from the polls because of her marriage to Briton Michael Aris, who died in 1999, and because their children held foreign passports, the newspaper said.

"That is hardly the definition of free and fair elections," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, traveling with President George W. Bush in Ghana. "The Junta needs to start from scratch with a real draft constitution that actually passes the laugh test," he added.

In New York, United Nations spokeswoman Marie Okabe said: "We believe that the credibility of the political process in Myanmar is going to depend on whether it is inclusive enough so that all can participate."

David Scott Mathieson, a Myanmar consultant for Human Rights Watch, said the military junta has made clear it doesn't think that Suu Kyi should have a role in national politics.

"So the past 20 years really have been a process of finding ways to exclude her from the entire process," he told Reuters Television in Thailand. "So this constitution is rigged."

ASEAN diplomats have said the group is grappling with a dilemma. Myanmar's membership to some is complicating its efforts to create an influential bloc in a globalized world, but isolating the junta could drive Myanmar further into China's embrace. ASEAN has instead opted for "engagement," calling on the junta to work with the United Nations towards democracy and release political detainees.

Myanmar's generals last held elections in 1990, but ignored after when Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years under some form of detention. (Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

News Alert: Suu Kyi out of contention for Burma election

Breaking News: Air Bagan ATR72 flight was crushed down

Air Bagan ATR72 flight was crushed down into velly at 3:45pm near Pu Tar Oo .

EU reiterates calls for reform in Burma

Mizzima News (
February 19, 2008

Chiang Mai – The European Union, yesterday, once again ingeminated its demands that Burma's ruling junta amend its ways or face further punitive measures.

A five-pointed epistle from the EU's Council in Brussels, where Foreign Ministers were gathered for a routine meeting, warned that further sanctions could be forthcoming if the junta does not respond to international pressure.

"The EU stands ready to review, amend or reinforce the measures it has already agreed in the light of developments," came the words of caution from Brussels..............

Condolence for Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan

Justice for Human Rights in Burma

For immediate release February 18, 2008

Condolence for Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan

Justice for Human Rights in Burma (JHB) categorically condemns the recent assassination of Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), and expresses our condolences to the family as well as to the Karen people.

JHB firmly believe that political assassinations are the lowest and most heinous of acts that will not alter the course and ideology of any organization’s political campaign. In contrast, these acts will only help in the determination and resolute belief of the organization and its people to carry on their tasks towards fulfilling their legitimate objectives.

Dr. Sein Myint, Policy Director (907)-306-2086
Ko Myat Soe, Research Director (260)-615-0575

Monday, February 18, 2008

Daw Kyaing Kyaing's health deteriorating

A tank in Pegu heading toward the former capital of Rangoon on February 16, 2008. Photos: Mizzima
Sources close to senior general Than Shwe said that Daw Kyine Kyine seemed not recovering from her stroke that happened to her last month. Other sources said she is in comma but no one confirms about her comma or she is slowly dying this time.

But coincidently, increasing army trucks with full of soldiers have been patrolling day and night in Rangoon since late Saturday after Union Day on 12th Feb and army tank/APC units were heading towards Rangoon from Pegu. Security is tight and checking points on the roads have been setup late Monday near Mingalardon Township which is gate of entrance to Rangoon from upper Burma.

During Saffron Revolution last September, killing and touring the religious leaders, monks and people that would return bad karma to Than Shwe’s family, said Rangoon sources.

Daw Kyine Kyine is believed to be interfering politics, dealing businesses, army and government high ranking position transferred, and conducting other social issues from herself. Her decision is always over ruling her husband. Sources said she is the one who hates Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the most and her motivation of against DASSK from the very early days.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Govt likely to take in Myanmar refugees

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government likely will agree to take in dozens of Myanmar refugees now staying in Thailand, sources said Sunday.

If the move goes ahead, it will be the first time the government has accepted refugees who are currently under the protection of a third country.

The move is likely to happen next year at the earliest, and the government hopes it will help soften international criticism of Japan's refugee policy for being too strict and exclusive.

Related government entities, such as the foreign affairs, justice, health, labor and welfare ministries, will soon enter negotiations over the rules of admission for such refugees.

According to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, about 141,000 Myanmar refugees had fled to Thailand as of the end of September 2007 for fear of political persecution by the military government in their home country.

Under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, the government decides whether to take in refugees after looking into whether he or she would face persecution on such grounds as race, religion or political stance in the event that they returned home.

Such assessments are conducted after the refugee enters Japan. This makes it impossible for Myanmar refugees who fled to Thailand without enough money to visit Japan to undergo such proceedings, even if the government is willing in principle to accept them, a government official said.

To improve this situation, the government is moving toward introducing a system to conduct such assessments on Myanmar refugees while they are still in Thailand, allowing them to then go to Japan with refugee status already approved.
(Feb. 18, 2008)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Daily Mirror correspondant Stephen Moyes takes us inside Burma - The land of fear

EXCLUSIVE: Burma has been ravaged by civil war for more than 60 years. Rape, murder, injuries from landmines and child poverty are rife. We go.. INSIDE THE LAND OF FEAR
Stephen Moyes At Ler Per Her Refugee Camp, Burma 16/02/2008

It is one of the most dangerous and secretive countries on the planet - a land where horror and atrocity are commonplace and people live in constant fear of the military junta's savage regime.

Now the brutality of life in Burma, which has been racked by civil war for the past 60 years, is being highlighted in the unlikeliest of places - glitzy Hollywood.........

Alert: Russian company to dig for gold in Burma

Dear Fellow Kachin Nationals,

(1) Condenm "Russia" as a " Gold-Digger"
(2)Protect the natural resources from our land
(3)Drive out gold- diggers from our land and give them a lesson

Overseas Kachin Nationals (OKN)

Rangoon (dpa) - The Burmese military regime has agreed to let Russia's Glory International Pte Ltd search for gold and other minerals in the country's northern Kachin State, which borders China, state media said Saturday.

The exploration agreement was signed between Win Ti, Director-General of Burma's Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Department, and Krivoshey Pavel, Chairman of Victorious Glory International Pte on Friday in Naypyitaw, the country's new capital.

Under the agreement, Glory International will be allowed to search for gold and other minerals along the Uru River between Phakant in Kachin State and Homalin of Sagaing Division, The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

Although Glory International claims to be a Russian firm, its parent firm Chandwin Projects Pte Ltd, also headed by Mr Pavel, actually was incorporated in Singapore only last year.

At the firm's website, registered in Singapore, Mr Pavel is described as a professional mining engineer with over 20 years of experience in mine development and mine management. Chandwin's mission is defined simply as "discovering, acquiring, developing, producing and marketing mineral resources at a profit."

It lists two offices in Singapore, and none in Russia, although it claims to have staff based in Russia. The backers of the firm are described as "Switzerland partners," with no names provided.

Some consider that Burma, a former socialist country that closed its doors to the outside world between 1962 to 1988, is one of Asia's last treasure troves for untapped minerals.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Asia’s tigers eye nuclear future

By Geoffrey Gunn

The 2005-07 spike in petroleum prices topping out at US$100 a barrel has prodded economic planners across the globe to reconsider their energy options in an age of growing concern over global warming and carbon emissions. The Southeast Asian economies, beneficiaries of an oil and gas export bonanza through the 1970s-1990s, now find themselves in an energy crunch as once-ample reserves run down and the search is on for new and cleaner energy supplies. Notably, regional leaders at...

While impoverished Laos is not a candidate for the development of civilian nuclear power, neighboring Myanmar has declared its intention to build at least a research reactor and has sent technicians to Russia for training. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors who visited Myanmar in 2001 were not impressed with the country’s regulatory framework to develop nuclear energy. But the notion that Myanmar is experimenting with nuclear weapons is undoubtedly overhyped as it lacks the capacity to enrich uranium. In fact, of the mainland Southeast Asian countries, Thailand and Vietnam alone are considering nuclear power options, with Vietnam undoubtedly further down the road to the realization of such a dream.

Asia faces growing rice crisis

By Raja M

MUMBAI - An Indian government ban of rice exports has plunged neighboring Bangladesh into crisis, in a grim preview of growing global grain shortages. Leading rice-exporting nations such as India and Vietnam are reducing sales overseas to check domestic price rises. Previously healthy buffer stocks in the world's largest rice exporter, Thailand, are shrinking.

The February 7 ban by India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry intensifies a worldwide rice shortage that according to the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization drove up prices by nearly 40% last year. Large rice importers such as Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia are worst affected. .......

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan : Interview with Burma Digest ( Click Here for Full Text)

Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan
Secretary-General and spokesperson for the Karen National Union

Born on the 5th July 1943, in Taw Gyaung village, Pan Tanaw Township, Maaubin District, Delta division, Burma.

He is a Buddhist, Poe Karen with have two sons and two daughters.

Padoh Mahn Sha graduated from Rangoon University in 1966 with a degree in History. He then joined Karen Revolution led by KNU in 1966. Before joining KNU, He was one of the KNU – UG from 1963 to 1966.

From 1966 to 1974, He had visited Ethnic revolution in Kareni, Shan and Kachin states several times. During that period, He traveled to China two times to talk with BCP and CPC.

From 1975 to 1984, He became a Joint Secretary of KNU, Nyaung Lay Bin District. In November 1984, He became a member of KNU central committee and moved to KNU Headquarters.

After joining the Karen Revolution in 1966, later he became a personal secretary of General Saw Bo Mya in 1988, the time when Saw Bo Mya was the president of KNU, DAB and NCUB.

In 1995 KNU 11th congress, He was elected as a Joint General Secretary, and in 2000 KNU 12th congress, he was elected as a General Secretary of KNU. Simultaneously he became a member of National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) secretariat.

Mahn Sha was elected General Secretary of the KNU again in 2004 KNU 13th congress and remains in that position until today.

Breaking News: Pado Mahn Sha was assassinated at his home

MAE SOT, Thailand (Reuters) - A leader of Myanmar's biggest rebel group was assassinated at his home in the Thai border town of Mae Sot on Thursday, his wife told Reuters. Mahn Sha Lar Phan, secretary-general of the Karen National Union, was shot at his two-storey wooden home by two men who arrived in a pickup truck, his wife Kim Suay told Reuters at the scene. He died instantly.

"One of them walked up to the house and said in Karen 'How are you, uncle?' Then the other man joined him after parking the truck and they both shot him with two pistols," she said, her voice shaking with emotion.

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, he had predicted a possible increase in violence ahead of a constitutional referendum in the former Burma in May.

However, the KNA and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) are riven by internal feuds and vendettas.

His son Hse Hse, another senior member of the predominantly Christian Karen rebel movement, blamed at a Buddhist Karen splinter group, which brokered a truce with Myanmar's ruling military junta in the mid-1990s.

"This is the work of the DKBA and the Burmese soldiers," Hse Hse said, referring to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

The Karen have been fighting for independence in the hills of eastern Myanmar for the last 60 years, one of the world's longest-running insurgencies.

(Reporting by Somjit Rungjumratrussamee; Writing by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Ed Cropley)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bulgaria Imposes Restrictions against Burmese Junta

The Bulgarian government decided to impose restrictive measures against Myanmar (formerly called Burma) at its session on Wednesday by approving a respective decree of the EU Council.

The USA has also imposed similar sanctions against the Asian state. The measures have been adopted in the wake of the suppression of peaceful civic protests by the Burmese ruling military junta and the continuing human rights abuses.

Bulgarian cabinet's decision contains an update of the names of persons from the Burmese junta who are not allowed to enter Bulgaria and whose assets and funds would also be kept out of the country.

The ban for investments in Burmese state-owned enterprises owned or controlled by the regime or by people related to it is expanded.

Further restrictions are introduced with respect to the revenue sources for the Burmese regime. These include the export of machinery and equipment for the timber and timber-processing industry, the mining of metals and minerals, and of precious and semi-precious stones. The import of products from these activities is also prohibited.

Junta extend detention of deputy opposition leader

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military government on Wednesday extended by another year the house arrest of the deputy leader of Aung San Suu Kyi's party, despite calls by the democracy leader's party and the international community for his release.

The National League for Democracy party called the extension of Tin Oo's detention "meaningless and unjust."

The order came just four days after the ruling junta announced it would hold a constitutional referendum in May and a general election in 2010.

He has been in detention since May 2003, when a pro-government mob attacked a motorcade carrying him and Suu Kyi as they were making a political tour of northern Myanmar. Both were taken into custody on the grounds that they posed a risk to national security, and have been either in prison or under house arrest since then.

UNSC warns of firmer action on child soldiers

In a report last month, Ban listed 58 parties to armed conflict in 13 countries — mainly in Africa and Asia — that sent children into battle. They included government armies in Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and Sudan as well as rebel factions.

The Security Council should consider penalizing those responsible by banning arms and military aid and slapping travel and financial restrictions on them, Ban said.

Asia's rising food costs bite deep

Rising food prices have hit Asia's poor so hard that many have taken to the streets in protest, but experts see few signs of respite from the growing problem. An array of factors, from rising food demand and high oil prices to global warming, could make high costs for essentials...

"The agency's figures show food prices globally soared nearly 40 percent in 2007, helping stoke protests in Burma, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pro-democracy protest in Burma

About two dozen people held a rare protest in Myanmar's largest city Tuesday (12 Feb) to demand that the military junta listen to U.N. calls for the restoration of democracy.


Some two dozen members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, shadowed by plainclothes police, gathered peacefully outside the party's headquarters to complain that the junta's moves toward democracy are insufficient. It was a rare display of public displeasure in the tightly controlled country.

Monday, February 11, 2008

US denounces regime's constitutional plans

The Burmese junta's announcement that it will hold a referendum on a new constitution in May demonstrates "its lack of seriousness about an open and fair process for the restoration of democracy," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Perino cited news reports as saying Aung San Suu Kyi might be barred from running, and stressed: "The problem is not with the setting of a date for elections, but with a non-transparent and exclusive process."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Voices on Junta's Announcement: " General Elections in 2010"

"In light of this announcement, the Secretary General renews his call to the Myanmar authorities to make the constitution-making process inclusive, participatory and transparent in order to ensure that any draft constitution is broadly representative of the views of all the people of Myanmar," the statement added.

Ban said he believed that "it is now all the more important for the Myanmar leadership to engage without delay in a substantive and time-bound dialogue with (opposition leader) Aung San Suu Kyi and other relevant parties to the national reconciliation process."
UN chief Ban Ki-moon

"I was surprised that they announced an election date without knowing the referendum results"
Nyan Win
Opposition spokesman

The regime itself did not honor " the result of 1990 election", who would consider the outcome of comming general elections in 2010 would be honored ?
Myat Soe
Justice for Human Rights in Burma

It as "public relations spin" and "nothing to do with democracy."
The Burma Campaign UK

"Just get on whatever horse you can catch. Then try to find better ones gradually,....."
A retired professor

``I am not interested in their referendum because the results are known already,''
48-year old noodle salad seller Mar Mar Aye

"The most important is all major parties should be allowed to run in it."
Roadside food vendor Aung Min, 28

"It's just like finding somewhere to live for the homeless. Of course it isn't the house of our choice, but it will give us some protection,"

"We can expect at least a coalition government. That's far better than now,"

"If they boycott the election, we will have to wait another three or four decades in deadlock,"
A retired government officer

The move by Burmese military government to set a timeframe for a referendum on a new constitution and elections as a "positive" one.
Singapore's Foreign Ministry

"Burmese political leaders had not been consulted, and called for a genuine process of reconciliation. "

We called for the release of Suu Kyi and other detained political leaders to ensure a "genuine and inclusive process of national reconciliation."
Britain's Foreign Office

Malaysia hopes Myanmar's decision to hold elections in 2010 will be realised as planned and all parties will participate according to democratic practice.

The practice of democracy was not limited to only one model approach for it to benefit the people. "The most important in democracy is service to the people and not causing trouble,"
Malaysia Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar

“We want political reforms and the process of reconciliation to start immediately and it has to be inclusive.As far as possible, important political prisoners should be released.”
India: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee

"China may have put pressure on them to announce something acceptable. They may have used the Olympic Games as a bargaining chip,"
A Yangon-based Asian diplomat

We're frankly very skeptical. We're not persuaded that this [Burma junta's election plan] is anything more than a cynical sham.
Stephen Smith, Australian Foreign Minister

Please send your comments:

The Saffron Revolution; a catalyst for freedom

May Ng
February 10, 2008

(May Ng is from the Southern Shan State of Burma and the NY Regional Director for Justice for Human Rights in Burma.)

Ne Win, who was trained in fascism in WWII, warned in 1988 that 'when the army shoots it shoots to hit' those who dare to protest. And thousands of young protesters were killed in military firing during the 1988 uprising.

And again during the Saffron Revolution last September, Burmese soldiers shot and killed unarmed citizens including monks.

Mary P.Callahan, an expert on Myanmar military, wrote that, "after independence from Britain, the World War II practices of politics in Burma have made 'violence' 'the currency of power.'

Burma's post colonial operational failure, that included army mutiny, ethnic rebellion, communist insurgency, warlordism, and economic chaos, paved the way for the Myanmar Tatmadaw (Burmese army) which was modeled after the 1950s Yugoslav and Israeli armies. Callahan said that the Myanmar Tatmadaw came to use 'violence' 'the once despised coercive tools of colonials' not only to pacify but also to mould citizens into dependable defenders of the army state.

In 1956, the Directorate of Psychological Warfare presented the first draft of what became "the official ideology" of the post-1962 socialist government and the present day military regime.

Entitled "Some Reflections on Our Constitution," the paper recommended the review of constitutional flaws and adoption of a draconian "Anti-Subversion Ordinance," to give the government the tools necessary to crack down on its opponents, and allows any and all critics of the government and army to be treated as enemies of the state.

In September 1958 the army's Directorate of Education and Psychological Warfare circulated a critique of the fundamental tenets of the Union's Constitution. And by 1958 the Constitution was no longer sacred. With this, the Burmese Tatmadaw has created a choke hold on political power unrivaled in the world. And in this solution, citizens became barriers to the army's consolidation of political power and national sovereignty, concluded Mary Callahan.

An onerous British law, the Public Order Preservation Act, Section Five, was also resurrected to arrest as many as four hundred government critics, including Aung San's brother, U Aung Than. During 1958, the Press Registration Act of 1876 was amended and the 'Psywar' Directorate shut down five or six newspapers and imprisoned numerous editors, publishers. Today, the same scene is eerily repeated again in Burma.

Now, after over 45 years of army rule Burmese political power remains in the hands of 'the specialists in violence,' including members of the Tatmadaw, antigovernment armed forces, criminal gangs and paramilitaries, wrote Callahan.

And she continued that even "more menacing than the records of murderous militaries in Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines, is the comparative 'durability' of the Tatmadaw's command relationship with its society."

Since the 1962 military coup, the Tatmadaw came to dominate all levels of government, civil administration and commerce in Burma. The Defense Services Institute, DSI, was established in 1951 with the military officers in all key positions and began to run the most powerful business organization in the nation. By 1960, it included banks, shipping lines and the largest import-export operation in the country.

Again, in 1990, the military junta established the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, or UMEH, which has grown into the largest indigenous firm, jointly owned by the government and retired and active duty defense services personnel. UMEH and a second military firm, the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), hold interests in banking, gems, tourism, trade, real estate, transportation, power, iron and steel factories, and foodstuffs.

After the 1988 uprising China became a major economic and military supporter for the army junta. According to a Burma expert, Andrew Selth, one school of thought believes that small poverty stricken Burma will inevitably succumb to the pressures of its much larger neighbour, and effectively become a pawn in China's bid to achieve world power status.

It is also believed that China's position on the UN Security Council is seen by the Rangoon regime as an ultimate guarantee against action by the UN.

But Selth said that Burma has always been suspicious of China, and it may not be Beijing but the Myanmar generals that have the whip hand. Neither China nor anyone else can predict or manage the behaviour of the Myanmar generals. In addition, violence and coercion as a universal solution to all challenges to power has been encoded into the mind and the manual of Myanmar Tatmadaw long before.

In this approach, a massive military machine is believed to be necessary in Burma to protect foreign investments especially the planned gas pipelines into China, and also to encourage economic growth in Burma. Accordingly, China and Tatmadaw army both consider Burma's internal stability as vital to the survival of Burma's independence and the Myanmar military's sovereignty.

The Central Statistical Organization of Myanmar Economic Ministry reported that Burma's foreign direct investment totaled more than $750 million during the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2007. Out of which China, South Korea, Russia, Singapore and Britain invested in projects worth $752.7 million, mainly in the oil and gas sector.

While the monks and nuns are still in prisons and labour camps, businesses from China, India, ASEAN countries and the west are already lobbying for return to 'business as usual' with the military; often citing the half hearted western sanctions as failures. The NY Times recently commented that, only in a short time after the Saffron Revolution many countries appear to have lost enthusiasm for challenging the junta, either because they are more eager for contracts with Myanmar involving resources like oil and gems, or they fear creating instability in the region. It also said that China, India and the Southeast Asian nations are key, but Europe and America also have commercial interests there.

After some modest growth in the mid 1990s, Burma once again faces serious economic problems. The early onrush of foreign investment in tourism and small manufacturing industries has practically dried up as a result of poor economic management by the regime and the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Corruption has reached unprecedented levels and according to the Transparency International's 2007 Index, Myanmar ranks the lowest score of 1.4 out of 10, along with Somalia. And the world's energy crisis will worsen the economic burden of the poor and it will continue to threaten Burma with the possibility of another major uprising.

The decline of the Tatmadaw is also visible inside the army. Jane's Defense Weekly reported in 2007, that the Myanmar army battalions are poorly managed, resourced, and plagued by desertion, and suffer from false reporting, haphazard inspections, and poor record keeping; and that morale among enlisted ranks is low. High desertion rates and illness such as HIV or Hepatitis B too is taking their toll.

All of these factors have translated into erosion of discipline and lessening of personal commitment to the Tatmadaw's professionalism. To address these problems the regime has further isolated the armed forces from the rest of the population by creating a state within a state where the members of the Tatmadaw, their relatives and supporters became a privileged caste within the Burmese society. But this also increases the possibility of armed opposition from the alienated population while the dissatisfaction and active dissent within the army still remains.

According to Callahan, Myanmar armed forces are not the omnipotent, fully unified organization that contemporary political debate implies; and that the weaknesses probably account for the regime's unyielding behaviour, as much. But breaking the political deadlock between the opposition and the SPDC will only be the first tiny step in the direction of demilitarizing this polity. And Callahan warned that the removal of the handful of top generals and colonels from the government, and their replacement with elected officials, will not transform overnight the century old command relationship between state and society.

While policy disagreements and personal differences clearly exist in the highest circles of the Tatmadaw and favors are doubtless dispensed with some return in mind, according to Andrew Selth, the generals are unlikely to do anything to seriously threaten armed forces unity. The October 2007 Janes's Intelligence concluded that an emerging younger generation of military officers assuming control in the medium term will likely follow the same policies that have preserved the Myanmar Tatmadaw's sovereignty.

But since last September, anti-junta sentiment inside Burma and around the world has reached a new high especially because of the lawlessness of Myanmar Army, inside Burma. In January, the International Burmese Monks Organization declared that the horrifying crimes committed against the monks in particular have laid bare the false piety of the junta and the atrocities will have far reaching consequences.

Aung San Suu Kyi has recently warned that, Burma will now have to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. In this climate, extreme violence may become the last and only resort left with which to resist the government's aggression. There has already been an incidence where a ruthless local official was beheaded and his head was mounted on a bamboo pole as warning to other cruel agents of the junta. If the majority of the people begin to take on a "do or die" attitude and start a violent revolt, not only the ruling dictators but also the entire military machinery will crumble and the future of Myanmar military will no longer be assured.

As long as Aung San Suu Kyi and the 1990 elected representatives are continued to be persecuted, the announcement of the 2010 elections will not help lessen the people's anger. In the aftermath of bloody Saffron Revolution, the generals may have lost the last opportunity to address their lack of legitimacy. Unlike Cuba, North Korea and Iran, the Myanmar regime did not come into power with a popular support from the people; and the crisis of legitimacy will continue to haunt the military junta.

Historian Niall Ferguson wrote in "Empire" that; the moral transformation that turned Britain from the world leading enslaver to the world leading emancipator of the African slaves began in a holy Trinity Church in England, with activists armed only with pens, paper and moral indignation. And at the end, the abominable slave trade was abolished in spite of the fierce oppositions from powerful vested interests.

Niall pointed out that "like all such great changes it had small beginnings."

The breathtaking Saffron Revolution of 2007 has united many Burmese people. If a small beginning can change three hundred years old slavery in the face of powerful interests, the monks' spectacular September uprising may yet be the most important 'catalyst for change' that has come to Burma.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Breaking News: Burma sets date for popular votes

A limited time to play

Nyo Ohn Myint

Feb 8, 2008 (DVB)–Naypyidaw, the jungle capital of Burma, has been very busy in past weeks with top advisers in greens and generals in charge of internal security responsibilities.

Senior general Than Shwe reportedly instructed them to find a short-term solution to appease the angry and hungry Burmese people and international players. Before the Saffron Revolution, Than Shwe had tried to avoid a political solution, but regional and international pressures have made political engagement unavoidable.

Double threat to Asia ( Click Here)

(, Agencies)

Tokyo - Asian Development Bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda has warned that Asia will be affected by the US economic slowdown - but growing inflation is an even bigger threat.

Asia is resilient, but cannot escape fallout from the US housing market turmoil he said, on the eve of a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers in Tokyo.

Kuroda said Southeast and East Asian economies including Japan and China could implement fiscal stimulus plans if global growth cools, but said it was not necessary for the moment.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Can the ruling Generals continue to resist the global pressure?

Myat Soe
Mizzima News (
February 7, 2008

The United States on Tuesday targeted the financial network of "Burmese business tycoon and regime henchman" Tay Za, identified as an arms dealer with "close ties" to the Burmese junta. Affected are family members of regime leaders and key additional individuals and businesses that are part of Tay Za's financial network.

As a well-known Chinese proverb “ Kill the chicken to frighten the monkey”, the world nations must apply the same actions what the United States is taking against the notorious Generals who are defiant, determined not to implement fundamental changes. In deed, it has made clear that failing to implement change will support the call for additional targeted sanctions and legal actions against the oppressive regime.

The question is: Can the ruling generals continue to resist the global pressure of unilateral targeted sanctions for democratic reforms? The answer is yes for the time being, but not for so long. As long as international oil firms continue to provide a lifeline to the Burmese junta, the ruling generals will defy the international community and will continue to implement a rule of terror and coercion against its own citizens.

However the current situation in Burma is ready to erupt in violence. Even though massive demonstrations have ceased, more thunderstorms will soon come because of the regime's defiance of the international community, soaring global oil prices and the potential vulnerability of the world economy.

An article written by Jad Mouawad, "Costly Fuel is Never far From a Match," notes how rising oil prices in recent months have created all kinds of headaches as the effects have rippled across the world. Many governments, especially in the developing world, have had to choose between raising domestic subsidies to offset the increase and letting the people bear the brunt of the economic burden. Neither choice is favorable for Burma's ruling generals with their coffers emptying as a result of having to spend millions on fuel in the wake of rising oil prices.

According to the Burmese junta's industry authorities, Burma annually produces about six million barrels (798,000 tons) of crude oil at home, yet it cannot meet its own demand and the country has to import over 200 million dollars worth of diesel and crude oil each year. The current demand for fuel in Burma is increasing and the regime has had to spend more on imported fuel than projected. The regime faces a dilemma of how to compensate for this spending gap, and this problem will land Burma in a deep recession.

Naturally, the greater the oil-price increase, and the longer higher prices are sustained, the bigger the macroeconomic impact. Without doubt, higher oil prices will lead to inflation. It will increase input costs and reduce non-oil demand. Also, higher oil prices typically lead to upward pressure on nominal wage levels. Wage pressures together with reduced demand tend to lead to higher unemployment. The energy price hike would therefore have a negative impact on economic interests, and this economic weakness can make the economy more vulnerable to financial turmoil.

To be sure, soaring global oil prices and the junta's defiance of the international community will impact the whole economy, and economic insecurity can rapidly lead to social and political instability in Burma.

(The writer Myat Soe is the Research Director of Justice for Human Rights in Burma. He graduated from Indiana University, and has a MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.)

Blogger charged with Emergency Provision Act

Nem Davies
Mizzima News (
February 7, 2008

Police in Rangoon have charged a Burmese blogger, Nay Phone Latt, who is believed to be in detention, under an emergency act, according to a close friend.

Nay Phone Latt, age 28, who went missing on January 29, has been charged with article 5 (J), Emergency Provision Act, at the Dagon Police station in Rangoon, said the close friend, who wished not to be named.

The Burmese military junta has widely used Article 5 (J), which could land an offender up to seven years of imprisonment, as a tool in suppressing dissidents and political activists.

"He was charged on February 3 at Dagon police station. We knew of the charges through police officer Soe Thein, who was among those that arrested him," the friend said.

Though Nay Phone Latt is reportedly charged and being detained at the Ministry of Home Affairs, so far there is no date for a trial. Family and friends told Mizzima they are preparing to confront the charges through legal avenues once the trial starts.

"We are still waiting and we will wait for about a month, and if necessary we will seek legal aid from lawyers," a family friend of Nay Phone Latt told Mizzima.

Meanwhile, a close friend of Nay Phone Latt's family said, the police have reportedly returned the Jeep, which Nay Phone Latt was reportedly driving when he was arrested, on Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday Race: Delegate Results

A.P. Delegate Count
Clinton.................. 845
Obama.................... 765
2,025 Needed
McCain................... 613
Romney................... 269
Huckabee................. 190
1,191 Needed

Republican Party front-runner Senator McCain and Burma

He introduced Saffron Revolution Support Act of 2007 Senate

Sen. John McCain takes a big step in his White House quest with Tuesday's wins.

Mr. MCCAIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

(a) In General- The President is authorized to use all available resources to assist Burmese democracy activists who are dedicated to nonviolent opposition to the SPDC in their efforts to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 to the Secretary of State for each of the fiscal years 2008 and 2009 for the following purposes:

(1) Aid to democracy activists in Burma.

(2) Aid to individuals and groups conducting democracy programming outside of Burma targeted at a transition to democracy inside Burma.

(3) The expansion of radio and television broadcasting into Burma.

(4) Support for individuals and groups compiling evidence of--

(A) the SPDC's efforts to repress peaceful political activity; and

(B) the commission of other human rights abuses by the SPDC.