Friday, August 29, 2008

88 Gen students on trial inside prison

Mizzima News
Friday, 29 August 2008 22:54

Chiang Mai – A total of 35 student leaders of the 88 Generation Students were produced for trial inside Rangoon's notorious Insein prison for the first time on Wednesday.

The student leaders, who were arrested and detained since August last year, have been continuously remanded on different charges under various sections.

"The hearing has not yet started. The accused have been brought to court. This is the time they are being produced in court," lawyer Aung Thein, who has been following the case closely, said.

Aung Thein said, the student leaders have demanded for a free and open trial, according to international standards, allowing media to be present at the court, and requested not to handcuff them during the court proceedings.

"On Wednesday, I visited the prison and came back at about noon. Then I heard that over 30 accused were brought to court at about 3 p.m. the same day. Their judicial remand is due on that day," a family member of Ko Ko Gyi, one of the student leaders, said.

Reportedly, lawyers Kyi Win, Nyan Win and Aung Thein will act as the defence counsels for most of these student leaders.

Besides, a few other lawyers will also defend Saw Myo Min Hlaing a.k.a. James, Nyan Lin and Min Han from among the 88 Gen students, another lawyer Pho Phyu said.

The 35 accused that were produce before the court today were student leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho, Jimmy, Mya Aye, Min Zeya, Aunt Phwe Kyaw, Kyaw Kyaw Htwe, Panneik Tun, Thet Zaw, Nyan Lin Tun and Zaw Zaw Min. All them were arrested in August 2007, after marching in protest against the sudden hike in fuel and commodity prices.

"I learnt that there are even women and 28 men among the 35 accused brought to court on Wednesday. We will know in detail on Monday," a man who visited the prison said.

The 88 Gen students were remanded with a new case under section 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act last July. The student leaders were remanded under section 17/20 of the Printers and Publishers Act and later they were remanded with new cases under Law No. 5/96 (Endangering National Convention), section 33(a) of the Electronic Act.

If convicted, the student leaders will face up to three years in prison under section 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act, five to 15 years in prison under 'Endangering the National Convention Law' (Law No. 5/96) and five to 15 years under section 33(a) of the Electronic Law, another advocate Khin Maung Shein, who also follow on the case, said.

Min Ko Naing and 13 other student leaders had spent at least 10 years in prison in their previous prison terms.

Meanwhile, Burma's prominent comedian Thura a.k.a. Zarganar and Reverend abbot Ashin Gambira were also produced before the court on Thursday inside the Insein prison but the trial was fixed for September 4, as the judges fail to turn up, Khin Maung Shein said.

"The judges had a meeting yesterday and could not hear the case. So comedian Zarganar cracked jokes in court all day and they were taken back in the evening," a friend of Zarganar, who was present at the court, said.

Nyan Win, spokesperson of Burma's main opposition party – National League for Democracy – said, "This is a continuous crackdown on political activists and the NLD. It is clear that they are continuing with their repression."

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Samak's remarks on Burma do more damage

By The Nation
Published on August 27, 2008
The PM adds more salt to the wounds by openly endorsing junta's planned 2010 elections

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's recent comments on Burma were ridiculous, even bordering on absurdity. It showed his total ignorance of the situation, and worse yet, he seems to be completely blind to the ongoing efforts by the international community, especially the UN, to bring peace and stability to one of the world's most backward countries. His latest comments added salt to the wound created by his earlier remarks, which also tarnished Thailand's reputation as a democracy.

Samak showed sadistic tendencies when he started criticising the West for demanding that Aung San Suu Kyi be released from her 12-year-long house arrest. He has completely ignored the reality inside Burma, and even very foolishly observed that the West could have a deeper level of discussions with the junta if the opposition party's leader was not part of the scheme. Obviously Samak forgot that Suu Kyi and her party, National League of Democracy, won the 1990 elections by a landslide, but that the military junta refused to recognise their victory.

He also forgot that over the past two decades, the junta has imposed stringent rules over its citizens, building up a tight police state where the public is under constant surveillance. When the Buddhist monks and students took to the streets in September last year to rally against the junta, they were met with force. Asean came out with the strongest statement in its history condemning one of its members, but the junta remained unrepentant.

Now, the junta is moving confidently ahead in imposing its political roadmap on the Burmese people by passing a new constitution in May and planning national elections in 2010. Meanwhile, Samak continues to completely ignore Burma's hunger for democracy.

Thailand has had to support more than two million refugees and migrant workers escaping hardship and oppression in their country. The Thai administration obviously does not realise that making Burma a democracy would be beneficial because the people would want to return home. As the leader of Thailand, Samak should have understood that it is democracy that gave him power in the first place.

However, when he met UN special envoy for Burma Ibrahim Gambari, Samak ended up openly endorsing the junta's planned 2010 election, saying naively that he would talk the junta into allowing outside observers. Samak should have realised that there is no way anybody could influence the junta.

When the international community wanted to help victims of Cyclone Nargis in early May, the junta was recalcitrant. At first, it blocked outside assistance out of fear of intervention, whereas immediate aid could have saved thousands of lives. After repeated assurances by Asean, some international organisations were allowed in. Now, it appears that the junta benefited handsomely from the tricky foreign policy exchange regulations, which enabled the authorities to put millions in their pockets. It is uncertain how much money they have made off with, but the real picture will emerge soon. Already, the news has had an adverse effect on potential sources of assistance.

It is obvious that Samak's stance on Burma will have huge ramifications on Thailand and its standing in the global community. Samak has always been quick to jump on any chance that would help him maintain power, even if it means serving as a front man for a convicted criminal liked Thaksin Shinawatra. Whether or not Samak can continue as prime minister in the weeks ahead, he has already created enough ways to further isolate Thailand. Worse yet, it would further affect the role of the Asean chair over the next 16 months.

With such a strong endorsement of the Burmese junta, it is now possible that some of the Asean dialogue partners would seek to boycott the meetings scheduled in December in Bangkok. Perhaps we should expect more diplomatic disasters if Samak continues as prime minister.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

All that glitters is not gold; lesson from Laura Bush for the UN and ASEAN

Myat Soe

Monday, 25 August 2008 18:03

In 2001, the UN Human Rights Rapporteur, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, asked ASEAN and the UN to help promote an all inclusive, accountable, transparent and democratic transition in Burma. When the United Nations Security Council held an informal briefing on the situation in Burma for the first time, in December 2006, delegates again urged Burmese authorities to resume dialogue with representatives from all ethnic and political opposition parties in Burma. And after the Saffron Revolution last fall it became even more urgent to hold a political dialogue between the military, pro-democracy forces and the ethnic leaders in Burma.

However, to this date, Burma's authoritarian regime justifies its hold on absolute power by declaring their political opponents as enemies of the state. The Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) is determined to remain strong; believing any weakness within the military will create opportunities for ethnic rebellion and secession – even though there is little evidence to suggest that most of Burma's minorities are trying to break away from the state.

Now, Burma has reached a point where international involvement is greatly needed to achieve peace in the country. The military is struggling under the burden of an over-extended army and is failing the economy. The time is now ripe for a stronger and more effective international diplomatic intervention.

The United Nations and its envoys have been busy since the Burmese government began cracking down on peaceful demonstrators after the Saffron uprising. But almost a year later, the military continues its oppressive rule, and instead of getting better, the lives of Burmese people have become worse under increased government abuses and deteriorating living conditions.

Protest leaders and monks from the recent mass demonstrations, including Su Su Nway and Ashin Gambira, were imprisoned even while Pinheiro was in Burma. The United Nations has responded to Burma's crisis by issuing press statements of regret and sorrow at the continuing large scale violent oppression inside the country.

After fourteen years, the junta persists in pushing through its seven-step roadmap to democracy, which, according to student leader Min Ko Naing, will give members of the military an unfair advantage over ordinary citizens in the quest of political power; and without a free and fair political system to guarantee peace and prosperity, Burma's legacy of violence and bloodshed will continue.

After the Saffron Revolution last September, and in spite of the efforts by the UN Secretary General and his Envoy, the Burmese regime not only refused to meet with political opposition and the ethnic leaders but instead continued imprisoning revered monks, 88 generation student leaders, NLD leaders – including both U Tin Oo and Aung San Suu Kyi – and ethnic leaders like Khun Htun Oo.

Michael Vatikiotis, a regional representative of the Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, said that the recent constitutional referendum in Burma is more bad news for the international community's determined effort to encourage a peaceful political transition in the country.

While the mass demonstration was gaining momentum last September, ASEAN's Secretary General, Ong Keng Yong, said on September 23rd that he was not sure what ASEAN Foreign Ministers could do, and only hoped that Burmese authorities would find a way to handle the situation in a peaceful manner. But instead of moving toward political change, the regime continues to severely punish those who refuse to endorse the army's political road map. Even as Burma was struck by powerful Cyclone Nargis, Burma's military continued its vicious campaign against peaceful monks, political opposition members and helpless ethnic villagers – ever tightening its grip on power.

During the months following the Saffron Revolution, Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Burma, met with Aung San Suu Kyi about three times to exchange necessary views. But there has not been any progress and the military regime does not seem to have a real interest in pursuing a genuine dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi or any other element within the opposition. Even Charles Petrie, the top UN diplomat, was thrown out of Burma for speaking the truth about the human rights situation inside the country.

After three meetings between Gambari and Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's political prisoners are still not free, political parties are still not allowed to peacefully function and basic human rights are still brazenly violated. Thus the time has now come for the UN Secretary General and his Envoy to report to the world that their efforts have been a failure.

Even a veneer of cooperation is no more, since the meetings between the junta's liaison, Deputy Labor Minister Aung Kyi, and Aung San Suu Kyi have also stopped. Further, by absenting herself from the latest meeting with Gambari, Aung San Suu Kyi may be protesting that a passive response by the UN alone is not enough to save Burma.

The Burmese military has not only treated their own people with cold-blooded brutality, they have also responded with contempt to the international community's call for genuine political reconciliation in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi's protest is a reminder that the international community should no longer remain indifferent to the Burmese government's continuing violence against the people in Burma.

During his latest trip, groups introduced by the regime to Gambari as representatives of 88 generation students and the NLD were only military sanctioned gangs operating under the auspices of the junta and lacked credibility with the opposition. Some of those introduced to Gambari were family members and subordinates of the ruling junta, not the legitimate representatives of the people.

The Burmese regime continues to mock the world by continuing its policy of ethnic cleansing while engaging with the United Nations. After brutally suppressing the people's uprising, the Burmese regime simply broke promises made to the UN to hold an all-inclusive political reconciliation process. Instead they continue their brutal ways to reward those who committed atrocities against their monks and people.

It is now possible to believe that the top most powerful generals, Than Shwe, Maung Aye and their cronies, resemble Saddam Hussein's ruling clique in Iraq.

In order to satisfy the whim of the ruling elites in power, even high ranking military leaders are routinely purged. Some of the senior military members who have been punished in the past included Major General Tin U, Major General Khin Nyunt, Lieutenant General Ye Myint, Lieutenant General Aung Htwe, Lieutenant General Kyaw Win and Lieutenant General Khin Maung Than. They were forced to resign, imprisoned, or even executed.

It is widely believed inside Burma that personal greed of the top two generals, Than Shwe and Maung Aye, is responsible for obliterating Burma's chance for peace.

It is speculated that as long as Than Shwe, Maung Aye and their cronies are in power, finding an honorable way out of the increasingly volatile situation in Burma may be impossible; and without peace there will be no hope for the return of prosperity.

While the world's most important leaders continue to sleep on Burma's tragedy, one gentle and graceful lady called Laura Bush has stood up for the people of Burma. Her legacy as First Lady of the United States may not necessarily be only of political correctness. Her legacy may also include her decisiveness in standing up for the people who needed her most when the world's most powerful men were reluctant.

The recent portraits of her with Burmese refugees should put all those men in the United Nations and the ASEAN to shame. They should learn from her the right way of constructive engagement by standing up for the brave people of Burma instead of enriching the military dictators.

All that glitters is not gold, even after the Olympics; for the shine from medals alone will not erase the horrible truth about powerful nations like China and how they supply weapons to the genocidal government in Burma. How much can dangling gold medals be worth compared to real courage, sacrifice and human dignity? After all, a material world devoid of human hearts is not really worth living in, no matter how many gold medals you can count.

There is no more time to dance around the issue. It is time for Gambari to face the music and report to the world about the hard reality inside Burma.

(The writer Myat Soe is a former Central Executive Committee member of All Burma Federation of Student Unions (1988) and currently serves as the Research Director of Justice for Human Rights in Burma. He graduated from Indiana University, and earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.)

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Friday, August 22, 2008

UN special envoy to Myanmar fails to see Aung San Suu Kyi - Summary

Yangon - UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari, after five days in the country, has failed to see either opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi or any senior junta officers. Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest in her family's Yangon home for the past five years, refused to get in a government car to meet Gambari on Wednesday and did not come out to greet the UN special envoy's car Friday morning when it parked in front of her compound for an hour.

Although eyewitnesses saw Gambari's car as it arrived at 7:30 am (0100 GMT) and waited at the front gate of Suu Kyi house and prison for an hour, it was not clear in the UN special envoy was inside.

There was not an unusual amount of security around Suu Kyi's compound Friday morning.

Gambari later Friday met with the executive committee of Suu Kyi's opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), to discuss the outcome of his mission.

"We talked about political prisoners and the UN resolution on Burma," said NLD spokesman Nyan Win. "He has not been able to see Suu Kyi," Nyan Win confirmed, without explaining why the Nobel laureate apparently snubbed the special envoy.

Gambari, who arrived in Myanmar Monday, has also failed to meet any senior officers in the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), as the ruling junta styles itself.

"Suu Kyi may be refusing to see Gambari to make a political point," said Win Min, a lecturer on Myanmar affairs at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. "She may feel there is no point seeing him if he hasn't seen any of the top generals and there has been no improvement."

Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since May 2003, being kept in near-isolation by the ruling junta, which recently extended her imprisonment, adding another six months to a year to it.

On rare occasions, she has been allowed to leave her house under army escort to meet with visiting UN special envoys, such as Gambari and his predecessors.

Despite the meetings, all UN special envoys to Myanmar have failed to persuade Myanmar's ruling junta to release Suu Kyi or include her in deliberations on the future course of Myanmar's politcal system.

The NLD won the 1990 general election by a landslide but has been denied power by the country's entrenched military establishment, which has ruled Myanmar since 1962.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is hoping to visit Myanmar in the last week of December if conditions are appropriate to discuss the country's political problems, UN sources said.

Ban was last in Myanmar in May when he made an emergency visit to pressure the country's junta to allow entry of international aid and relief workers in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which left about 140,000 people dead or missing.

Ban was criticized at the time for concentrating on the aid and neglecting Myanmar's long-simmering political caldron and the junta's refusal to free Suu Kyi and other political prisoners or to introduce genuine political reforms.

This week's visit is Gambari's fourth since last year to Myanmar, also known as Burma, where he has been handed a mandate by the United Nations to deal with the country's military regime in addressing international concerns about human rights violations, slow-paced political reforms and the ongoing detentions of political prisoners.

The State Peace and Development Council, as Myanmar's junta calls itself, has shown little willingness to comply with Gambari's overall mission.

On August 7 in Yangon, for example, Myanmar authorities arrested three members of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions and two members of the 88 Generation Students, two pro-democracy groups. Their whereabouts remain a mystery.

Myanmar has been under the equivalent of martial law since 1988 when the army unleashed a brutal crackdown on a nationwide pro-democracy movement, which left an estimated 3,000 people dead and thousands more in prison.

Suu Kyi, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has been under house detention for 13 of the last 20 years.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our Front-Line Heros: Red Campaign

Read this document on Scribd: RED Campaign

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Updated News

Read this document on Scribd: 170808-NEWS


Read this document on Scribd: BURMA'S REVOLUTION OF THE SPIRIT

Friday, August 15, 2008

Obama or McCain? For Burma more of the same

McCain for President of the United States

Mizzima News

Friday, 15 August 2008 23:57 "And who do you want to be the next President of the United States?" I asked a clandestine congregation in Rangoon on a recent trip to Burma. The answer was quick and unanimous in coming, "McCain!"

"Obama is soft. McCain is a warrior," challenged a former political prisoner. Others in the room readily nodded in agreement.

This sentiment is based on the belief that Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential nominee for this November, would be more likely to risk engagement and compromise with Burma's generals. The room I was in was comprised solely of those in vocal opposition to the current military regime and staunch supporters of the National League for Democracy.

Their demands for their country were steadfast and uncompromising, and they looked to an American President to be equally unwavering in the fight of good versus evil – a facet of the Bush Presidency that has propelled the much maligned 43rd President to unprecedented heights of popularity in Burma.

But this collection of activists and politicians need not fret over the results to come in three months time. Whether Obama or John McCain, the Republican nominee, Burma can rest assured that American policy and rhetoric vis-à-vis the Southeast Asian country will stay true to the path outlined by the outgoing administration: a rigid sanctions approach combined with vocal support for the aspirations of the political opposition while remaining firm in the avowal that a solution must come from inside Burma.

"While, ultimately, change must come from within Burma, the international community has an important role to play to signal strong support for the courageous Burmese people. I have supported sanctions against Burma and welcome the additional sanctions the President announced," spoke Senator Obama at the onset of the Burmese junta's violent suppression of last year's Saffron Revolution.

While aping the need to pressure China and other regional players to play a more constructive role in bringing change to Burma, McCain reiterated last September that he would approve of "any trade and economic sanctions at our disposal" in support of Burma's democratic opposition.

Despite his campaign formerly employing two lobbyists at one time on the payroll of the Burmese junta, anticipation of a Burma policy by a McCain White House requires scant debate.

The Republican nominee who praised Aung San Suu Kyi after meeting with her in 1996, a Vietnam veteran, former prisoner of war and husband to a wife who has already auditioned to assume the mantle from First Lady Laura Bush as the voice of the Burmese opposition in the White House – Senator McCain can be readily relied upon, if President, to hold firm the Burma line increasingly espoused by the White House since the 2003 Burma Freedom and Democracy Act.

An Obama Presidency, on the other hand, requires a little more explanation in order to assuage the fears of opposition stalwarts inside Burma.

Senator Obama, though oscillating to a degree, has consistently held out the possibility of some level of diplomatic initiative and engagement with governments that Washington does not see eye to eye with. Last month, referring to an announcement by the Bush Administration of a limited opening with leaders of Iran, the Illinois Senator reasoned: "Now that the United States is involved, it should stay involved with the full strength of our diplomacy."

Yet apparently even more disconcerting for advocates of a hardline position against the Burmese junta, were Obama's words during a debate held one year ago.

At the time he was asked, "Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?"

"I would," responded Obama. "And the reason is this: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when he called them an evil empire. He understood that we may not trust them, and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward."

However, upon scrutiny, this response actually reaffirms the conclusion that an Obama Burma policy will mirror that of a Bush or McCain approach.

Where, in the question, is Burma, Sudan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe?

For very good reasons, the question omitted such regimes. If Obama chooses to expend political capital to further a policy of engagement with governments deemed hostile to American interests, he will have to prioritize where to concentrate his efforts and spend his leeway. All the countries in the question would assume priority over the likes of Burma. Burma would serve an Obama White House as an opportunity to reach out to opposing political camps, while able to defend its position behind a firewall of moral posturing.

American moral interests, couched in the language of democracy and human rights, versus American geopolitical and economic interests. The countries listed in the question, with the possible exception of Cuba for which an historical and geographic connection masked in ideology predominates, command at least the potential to impose themselves on the world stage – even if only at a regional level – in a manner inimical to tangible American interests. Burma, in contrast, does not pose any such danger to the United States.

An Obama foreign policy of engagement will seek to counter criticism of being "soft" by realizing gains in national security, access to energy resources, mitigating the War on Terror and resolving regional disputes deemed within a geographic sphere of influence. Without decisive gains to be realized in Burma in these areas (yes, even with Burma's natural gas and oil reserves), the afflicted Southeast Asian country will remain beholden to an American policy dominated by morality.

And what for those that would prefer to see a White House that seeks to explore engagement with Naypyitaw? For that to happen, proponents of such a policy would have to succeed in transcending Burma from a personal, feel good issue undemanding of political conviction to a subject relevant to American power calculations in ensuring a world safe and receptive to America's overarching domestic interests.

Morality, legality and politics – these concerns understood together will determine the next White House policy regarding Burma. And when viewed as a composite entity, these factors will work to discourage engagement while stymieing any talk of intervention in its infancy. In other words, for Burma at least – and a welcome message to Burmese advocates of staying the course, the ensuing United States administration will without question usher in "Four more years."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Never Forget 8888

ဒီစာကို Select ေပးၿပီးေရးပါ...


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

United States President George W. Bush's policy speech on Burma : 'Make Burma free'

'Make Burma free'
ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံတြင္း ရက္စက္ၾကမ္းၾကဳတ္အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈကုိ အဆုံးသတ္ေအာင္လုပ္ေဆာင္မည္။

(ဘန္ေကာက္တြင္ေၿပာၾကားမည္႔အေမရိကန္သမၼတ ေဂ်ာ႔ဘုရွ္ ၏ မိန္႔ခြန္းေကာက္ႏုတ္ခ်က္ )


"We seek an end to tyranny in Burma," the US president will say.

"America reiterates our call on Burma's military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.

"And we will continue working until the people of Burma have the freedom they deserve."

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Schedule of Event: 20th Anniversary of 1988 Pro-democracy Uprising

Dear all,

Below is the most up-to-date Schedule of Event for 20th Anniversary of 1988 Pro-democracy Uprising. All events on the list were sorted by time zones, and covered four continents (Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North America), we hope that users will find it easy to use. We also attached the PDF version, please feel free to print and distribute it. There are 19 countries and 31 cities on the list as of this morning, and we hope you will find a city near where you live.

If you would like to add an event from your city or country to this list, or need to update information for your event, please email me directly. We are still seeking responsible individuals who would like to set up a solidarity rally in their city or country. Please let us know if you would like to hold a rally, a photo exhibition or any activity that you think will benefit Burma, we will support you with flyers, posters, slogans, etc.

Let us fulfill the wish of Burmese people. Help us in bring down the absolutism in Burma.

Thank you for your attention.

20th Anniversary of 1988 Pro-democracy Uprising
Schedule of Event

Wellington, New Zealand
August 8 6-18 Chinese Embassy Rally

Sydney, Australia
August 2 17-22 Ukrainian Hall 8-8-88 Commemoration; Phone: 02 9896 8966; Mobile: 0427 417 620

Canberra, Australia
August 8 SPDC Office Rally

Melbourne, Australia
August 9 13-16 Noble Park Community Centre Tribute to the Fallens

Perth, Australia
August 8 18-22 Australian Asian Association Hall (JACDB) PERTH Commemoration

Nagoya, Japan
August 3 15.30 Sakae Park Rally Aung Ko Ko Oo (+81-90-9173-1122)

Tokyo, Japan
August 2-3 Mt. Fuji Activists will climb this highest mountain in Japan for Burma Sayaka Miyazawa ( ; Mobile: +81-90-9340-4121; Office: +813-5312-4817)

August 4-5 International Conference on Global Support for Democratization in China and Asia For general press inquiries (English and Japanese) contact: Yuki Akimoto (BurmaInfo): +81-80-2006-0165 (mobile).

August 8 13.30 Gotanda Minami Park March to SPDC Office Joint Action Committee of the Burmese Community in Japan (+81-90-4964-9718)

August 9 Forum: Don't Forget 88 Sayaka Miyazawa ( ; Mobile: +81-90-9340-4121; Office: +813-5312-4817)

Seoul, South Korea
August 5 Publicity Campaign on Olympics Free Burma Campaign: Kim Kyoung
August 8 Rally; Press Conference

Manila, Philippines
July 16-August 2 At factories where we have unions as FBC-Phils members, and at schools where our members will set up their sign up booths with public exhibition Photo-petition sign up campaign for the "8888 Faces Calling for the Release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and All Political Prisoners in Burma" Visit .

August 3 Bike for Burma: Bikers travel around Metro Manila sporting Free Burma slogans Co-sponsored by Amnesty International Pilipinas.

August 3-7 Media activities FBC-Phils members doing the media rounds for TV, print and radio interviews; we will also try to get a house resolution at the Lower House of the Congress in support of Burma democratization.

August 8 Morning 1st Stop: Chinese Consulate; 2nd Stop: Royal Thai Embassy; 3rd Stop: SPDC Office Torch relay for Democracy and human rights in Burma. FBC-Phils members (about 80 people) will go around the Makati commercial district (on a motorcade) and hold short rallies in front of those offices.

Evening University campus Burma cultural solidarity night and candle lighting "Keep the fire Burning" - with a concert Open to public; Please visit for more information.
August 15 Mehan Garden public park Photo exhibition: Faces of 8888

Hong Kong, China
August 1-7 Monkok Pedestrian Zone, Charter Road Pedestrian Zone, Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier Photo exhibition Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma: Debby Chan
August 8 SPDC Office Rally: We Will Never Forget Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma: Bruce Van Voorhis

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
August 8 9 SPDC Office Rally Mohammad Sadek, (English) Tel: 0163094599; Aung Kyaw Moe, (Bahasa & Burmese) Tel: 0163502000
Vigil SUARAM and Burmese Refugees

Bangkok, Thailand
August 3 12-17 Thammasat University Seminar: The 2 Decades Overview on Changes in Burma and a Way Forward This seminar will be co-organized by TACDB and Thammasat University. Contact Khun Pam, TACDB at 089-699-6890 or email:
August 8 10-11 Chinese Embassy Rally
12-13 SPDC Office Rally

New Delhi, India
August 8 11-13 Photo Exhibition of 8888, Saffron Revolution (Sept 2007) & Cyclone Nargis Mr. Kim (9810476273); Ms. Achan (9868240809
14-18 Conference on "20 Years of People's Struggle in Burma and Beyond"
18.30 Indian Gate Candle light vigil
18.30-21 India Habitat Center Freedom Dinner

Colombo, Sri Lanka
August 8 12.30 SPDC Office Rally

Prague, Czech Republic
August 8 18 Velvet Revolution Memorial Candle light vigil: with the names of Burmese political prisoners Visit .

Vienna, Austria
August 4-7 Supporting Don’t Watch Campaign; and Burma Film Festival Austrian Burma Center

Lausanne, Switzerland
August 8 18-23 Fontaine du Musee Olympique Association Suisse-Birmanie;

Brussels, Belgium
August 8 11.15-12.15 EU Commission Rally Actions Birmanie
13-14.30 SPDC Office Rally
15-16.30 Chinese Embassy Rally

Paris, France
Chinese Embassy Joint Rally with Reporters Without Borders Info Birmanie

London, England
August 8 Morning A monument of glass by and dedicated to former prisoners, which will be unveiled by senior political figures Burma Campaign UK
Lunchtime SPDC Office Rally
Evening Exhibition
10-12 Chinese Embassy Rally Burma Democratic Concern, National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) UK, Women of Burma UK, Burmese Muslim Association UK
TBD TBD Freedom Dinner Global Justice Center

Edinburgh, Scotland
August 4-10 St John's Church Play: "The Burma Play: A Comedy of Terror" A hard-hitting new play on Burma at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - The acclaimed work, performed by the Northern International Theatre group. Cast members from The Burma Play will be forming part of the 8 August demonstration and Amnesty International is encouraging Festival-goers to take part in a piece of 'real-life theatre' by joining in with the highly colourful demonstration. The demo will involve a huge 30-metre-long saffron ribbon being held aloft, symbolising solidarity with Burmese monks and others who have protested for human rights in Burma.
August 8 12.30-13 City Chambers Rally. A special open-air performance of The Burma Play immediately after the protest. This is free but tickets must be reserved at Contact: John Watson: 0131 313 7012, 07818 453070,, Neil Durkin: 0131 313 7005, 07771 888826,

North America
New York, USA
August 8 8.8.8 UN Headquarters Ko Athein and Ko Zaw Min Htwe walked from Portland, Oregon to the United Nations (nearly 3,000 miles) to raise awareness of human rights violations in Burma.
12-14 SPDC Office Rally, Street Performance, Live music Shwe War (347.229.4309); Thelma (202.234.8022).
14.30-15 Chinese Embassy
15.15-19 UN Headquarters
19-22 Eli Klein Fine Art Freedom Dinner

Washington, D.C. , USA
July 24 12-15 Upper Senate Park Challenge China Rally with PEARL (People for Equality and Relief in Lanka) US Campaign for Burma

Chapel Hill, USA
August 2 12-15 University of North Carolina Speeches, Live music

Chicago, USA
August 7 16-18 Chinese Consulate Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Dallas, USA
August 8 19 Dallas City Hall Plaza

Los Angeles, USA
August 3 11 Buddhist monastery LA 88 Organizers
August 7 11.30-12.30 Chinese Consulate

San Francisco, USA
August 8 7.45-8.30 City Hall, Berkeley Burma Day Organized by San Francisco 8888 Action Committee: Burmese American Democratic Alliance, Burmese American Women's Alliance, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Burmese Youth Association, Clear View Project, 8888 Generation Students (Exile), 650 756 5887
14-19 Union Square Burma Day rally
18-21 Frey Norris Gallery Freedom Dinner

Ottawa, Canada
August 8 SPDC Office, Chinese Embassy Proclamation of “Burma Day.” Hoisting the symbol of Burmese flag. Screening films. Photo exhibition. Production of CD album contributed by Canadian musicians. Contact CFOB office at 613-237-8056, or email at

Toronto, Canada
August 8 11-12 Ontario Legislative Building, Queen's Park Press Conference
12-13 Speeches at Queen's Park
13 Chinese Consulate March from Queen's Park
14 Chinese Consulate Photo exhibition, acts, speeches, Candle light vigil

Vancouver, Canada
August 8 18.30- 20.30 Vancouver Art Gallery Candle light vigil
August 9 10-18 Vancouver Art Gallery Human Rights Festival and March to Chinese Consulate from the Gallery Communities from Sudan, Tibet, and Zimbabwe will join the rally.
August 10 13-16 Oakridge Auditorium Photo and documentary show

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An Olympian question of legitimacy for Burma's generals

May Ng
Mizzima News

May Ng is the New York regional director of Justice for Human Rights in Burma.)

Twenty years ago on 8 August 1988, the Burmese people rose up and ended the first chapter of military dictatorship in Burma, the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP). But after months of countrywide anti-government demonstrations, on 18 September 1988, the army staged a coup and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). After suspending the 1974 constitution, SLORC promised to conduct multiparty elections in the future.

The army announced four "duties" under SLORC Declaration No.1/88 that included the "holding of a multiparty General Election." And SLORC Law No.14/89, "Pyithu Hluttaw (Assembly) Election Law," in chapter 3, section 3, stated that the "Hluttaw shall be formed with the Hluttaw representatives who have been elected." In addition, SLORC statement No. 1/90 stated that the people's representatives must make the constitution, for the army will not accept the establishment of a government with a temporary constitution.

According to the Burma Lawyers Council (BLC), on several occasions-- including 23 September 1988, 27 March 1989, 3 July 1990, September 1990 and at General Khin Nyunt's (former Secretary (1) of the SPDC) - 100th press release held on 13 July 1990-- the army repeatedly promised that: "We, soldiers, will go back to the barracks and try to serve our original primary duties, from the past to the present day." And the army also stated that, "The parties which won the election have to draw up a constitution for the future sake of the people of Burma." But the BLC said that despite these public announcements, election results from the free and fair election in 1990 were never officially recognized by the military junta.

Today, the All Burma Monks Association (ABMA), the All Burma Federation of Students' Union (ABFSU), the '88 Generation Students and elected MPs of the 1990 general election have all rejected the result of the junta's recently tightly controlled constitutional referendum, and declared that they will boycott the 2010 general election-- the most important step of the junta's own roadmap. In New York, the International Burmese Monks Organization, led by Pinann Sayadaw, has asked international political activists to raise the issue of Burma at the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will open on 16 September 2008.

Since the Saffron Revolution last fall, the ABMA inside Burma is still refusing alms from the military - the religious boycott commonly referred to as the "overturning of the alms bowls" still being in effect.

For some, violence against the revered Buddhist monks in Burma last September may evoke the memory of Adolph Hitler. Hitler suggested in 1937 that the best way for the British to deal with Indian Nationalism is to just "shoot Gandhi, and if that does not reduce the Indians to submission shoot a dozen leading members of the Congress and if that does not suffice shoot 200 and so on until order is restored."

Besides Hitler, Sun-Tzu's The Art of War also sheds light on the military's conduct. For it articulates that the army is established on deception, mobilized by advantage, and changed through dividing up and consolidating the troops. Sun-Tzu continues, writing that after plundering the countryside, the army divides the wealth among the troops…and after expanding territory, divides and holds places of advantage.

This warrior-philosophy helps explain the regime's conduct against its own citizens in treating them as enemies. After which, as its own political legitimacy becomes more elusive, the military's ability to extinguish potentially explosive situations becomes extremely limited, meaning that only the use of force is left to protect its power.

Sun-Tzu, the master of war, once ordered the execution of a king's two top commanders as an example to command complete obedience from the rest of the soldiers; this method may explain how the Burmese junta keeps absolute control over its foot soldiers, who were ordered to shoot monks in September.

The junta's brutality toward its own monks has shocked the world, and clearly the Burmese army's temple of worship is not the Buddha's, but that of a warrior's - as evidenced by the grandiose statues of long gone warring rulers in the new capital.

In the 12 November 2004 issue of Constitution and Legitimacy, Milan Petrovic wrote that dictatorship usually results from illegal activities, and through a coup d'état usually carried out by the army. But Petrovic continued, saying that illegal dictatorships can be both legitimate and illegitimate; a legitimate dictatorship in the past, after restoring order and performing the most urgent reconstruction of state bodies and public services, generally gave power back to civilians; but a dictatorship can also become illegitimate if the old, civilian tyranny was only exchanged for a new, military one, as when Napoleon won unlimited power in a coup not to preserve, but to overthrow the constitutional system.

But unlike a handful of other non-democratic, but still legitimate governments throughout the world, the Burmese military government has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of its people.

In speaking of the American Constitution, Richard H. Fallen, Jr. argued in the Harvard Law Review of April 2005, that even if the Constitution had been lawfully adopted, it would not provide a morally legitimate foundation for coercive action unless coercion pursuant to it could be justified morally. The legal legitimacy of the Constitution depends much more on its present sociological acceptance than upon the legality of its formal ratification. He said that the Constitution is law not because it was lawfully ratified, as it may not have been, but because it is accepted as authoritative.

The justification of the central role of the military in the future government of Burma is the need of discipline in state affairs in a country of over 100 ethnicities, said Timo Kivimäki on 11 December 2007. His comments were based on massive comparative evidence, Paul Collier had earlier claimed that societies with many, equally powerful ethnic groups are no more war prone than homogenous societies. And thus Burma, with it's over 100 ethnic groups, is no more vulnerable and in need of discipline than any other country.

Kivimäki wrote that the fact that the future role of the ethnic armies has been planned in a secret process within the Ministry of Defense could easily be the main immediate concern, and the least unlikely trigger of war between the center and the regions.

Kivimäki continued, arguing that according to Rudolph Rummel's extensive comparative evidence, the risk of a citizen of getting killed in wars is reduced from 0.54% to 0.24% if the country is democratic, rather than authoritarian. Kivimäki suggested that on the basis of comparative evidence, Burma should demilitarize in order to achieve optimal probability for peaceful resolution to its territorial wars.

In a recent Shan Herald Agency News report; even though as many as 76,000 refugees in 2007 were forced to leave their homes for the relative safety of Thailand due to the abuses of the Burmese military, many are being sent back by Thai authorities and may end up in makeshift shelters in the jungle.

Lt. Col. Sai Aung Mya, a commander of the Shan State Army (South), recently said that he now spends most of his time protecting and developing the welfare system for people who are trying to escape military brutality, but are prevented from being recognized as refugees by the United Nations because of Thai government policies. It was clear in the case of Sai Aung Mya that as a peaceful and religious person he had taken arms against the military junta in self defense, the necessity of which became evident last fall when thousands of unarmed people were not able to protect their monks from the army's assault.

Even Aung San Suu Kyi, the winner of Nobel Peace prize, said that she will never disown students who are fighting for democracy, even though they have chosen to take up arms. She also said that nothing comes free in life and, one way or another you will have to pay for everything.

According to Thomas Carothers, the United States, and to a lesser extent other Western powers, have often talked grandly in the past several decades about their commitment to global democracy. But underneath the rhetoric is a long record of a very mixed policy and the role of outside actors in most attempted democratic transitions is relatively limited.

But the time has now come for the United States and the rest of world's democratic community to give tangible support to the people of Burma; including the victims of Cyclone Nargis and the victims of military brutality on the borders of Burma - especially because of the unwillingness of the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to assert their utmost influence for democratic change inside Burma.

In conclusion, Carothers noted that the terrible socioeconomic conditions and weak rule of law apparent in so many developing countries is, in many cases, a legacy of decades of misrule by autocratic regimes that claimed a deep commitment to developmental goals but in fact gave greater priority to narrower, self-interested and countervailing concerns.

Even after the 8-8-08 Olympics, China's misguided support for the destructive regime in Burma will come back to haunt them. As General Aung San, the architect of Burma's Independence said, "a man sows so shall he reap and that if any individual or nation oppresses or exploits another and violates natural and social justice in that way that individual or nation shall pay for that sin against justice and humanity."

Lastly, as a young man Abraham Lincoln used to worry that no one would remember that he had lived. But like Lincoln, the heroes of Burma from 1988 to 2007 will never be forgotten.

Especially in this Olympic year, Burma's heroes will be remembered for having fought beyond their limits of endurance, in striving to leave behind a much better world than the one they have endured.

To view her poems about Burma, please visit:

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Political Prisoners in Burma - Our Heros

အက်ဥ္းေထာင္ထဲက သူရဲေကာင္းမ်ား


ရွစ္ေလးလံုးအေရးေတာ္ပံု အႏွစ္(၂၀) ျပည့္ေတာ့မယ္။ လမ္းမေပၚက်ခဲ့တဲ့ ေသြးေတြ အခုအထိ မေျခာက္ ေသးဘူး။ အျဖစ္အပ်က္ေတြက မေန႔ကလိုပဲ ခံစားေနရတယ္။ အသက္ေပးသြားတဲ့ အာဇာနည္ သူရဲေကာင္း ေတြနဲ႔အတူ ယံုၾကည္ခ်က္အတြက္ အက်ဥ္းေထာင္ေတြထဲမွာ ရဲ၀ံ့စြာ အက်ဥ္းက်ခံေနတဲ့ သူရဲေကာင္းေတြကို မေမ့ၾကဖို႔၊ သတိရၾကဖို႔၊ ဦးၫြတ္အေလးျပဳၾကဖို႔ဆိုတဲ့ ဆႏၵနဲ႔ပါ ...။

Read this document on Scribd: all political prisoners

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Statements of All Burma Federation Of Students' Unions

Read this document on Scribd: statement

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8888 Democracy Uprising in Burma

Read this document on Scribd: absdf- t-insoe 01

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Monday, August 4, 2008

20th Anniversary of the 8-8-88 Uprising in Burma

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New appeal over 8888 uprising Burma prisoners

More than 2,000 political prisoners are still languishing in Burmese jails, almost 20 years after pro-democracy protests were crushed by the country's army.

Today the United Nations is being urged to reject Burma's "hollow promises" and press for the release of all those still detained.

Amnesty International UK's plea comes ahead of an official visit by the UN secretary general's special representative Ibrahim Gambari and Thomas Ojea, the UN expert on human rights in Burma.

Pro-democracy protests began in Burma on August 8th 1988, lending the demonstrations the 8888 uprising tag.

The peaceful protests, which mostly involved students and monks, began in Rangoon and spread through most of the country before being viciously crushed in September.

Up to 3,000 unarmed protests are thought to have died, with about 2,050 still remaining in jail.

Their numbers have been added to by protestors detained or 'disappeared' following the Saffron Revolution marches witnessed last autumn.

Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International UK's Burma researcher, said there were now more political prisoners in Burma than at any time since the 8888 uprising.

He drew special attention to U Win Tin, now 78, who has been imprisoned since 1989.

"Despite countless claims by the government of Burma that it is moving toward allowing broader political participation, U Win Tin was detained not long after the 1988 demonstrations, and remains in prison along with thousands of others," Mr Zawacki said.

"Nothing speaks louder of the government's poor faith than the fact that there are more long-standing political prisoners in Burma now than at any other time since those protests.

"While U Win Tin is the longest-serving prisoner of conscience in Burma, he is far from alone.

"He has been joined by thousands of others since 1988, roughly 900 in just the past ten months. The UN should no longer accept the government's hollow assurances but hold Burma firmly to its word."

Amnesty International UK is supporting a demonstration outside the Burmese embassy in central London on Friday August 8th between 13:00 BST and 14:00 BST to mark the 20th anniversary of the 8888 uprising.
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20th anniversary of the 8-8-88 uprising in Burma

Publish Post

Advocacy group appeals for common stance on Burma

Chiang Mai - A leading regional advocacy group for human rights and democracy in Burma, says that a unified international position vis-à-vis the generals in Naypyitaw is essential if fundamental change is to come to the country.

Issued in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 8-8-88 uprising in Burma, ALTSEAN Burma (Alternative ASEAN network on Burma) asserts that: "Twenty years after the 8888 national uprising, the international community must realize that unconditional engagement, discreet diplomacy, and ASEAN's so-called constructive engagement has failed."

The organization views the ultimate failure of the current U.S.-led sanctions approach as a result of the steadfastness of several countries – including many of Burma's neighbors and regional trading partners – to join in a common international position.

"The international community must adopt a common position to ensure that Burma's military regime delivers genuine reforms within a clearly-stated timeframe," reads the opinion of ALTSEAN released today. "Countries of ASEAN, South and East Asia, in particular China and India, have the main responsibility to ensure there is genuine change in Burma."

While calling for the release of all political prisoners, ultimately ALTSEAN sees the necessity of a tripartite dialogue between the junta, National League for Democracy and ethnic leadership.

"The common position must guarantee an inclusive process that allows key stakeholders such as the National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic nationality leadership to work freely as legitimate partners with the military regime," avows the rights group.

ALTSEAN argues that regional leadership in addressing Burma's ongoing crisis is of paramount interest to local actors, as they stand the most to lose from a grossly mismanaged country in their midst.

In the absence of a singular stance taken up by external voices and actors, ALTSEAN paints a grim picture of continued daily life in Burma, citing a figure of 90 percent of the population existing on less than one dollar a day.

Further, from July 2007 to June 2008, the organization references an over 65 percent increase in the number of political prisoners inside the country, now placed at 1,900.

Over the course of the two decades since the 1988 uprising, ALTSEAN eludes to the growth of a diverse community in opposition to the regime's continued unilateral and military rule. This opposition bloc is said to include "ethnic nationalities, interest groups and political factions." Now, it is deemed time for state actors to reflect Burma's growing organizational consortium in opposition to the junta's policies, and maintain a singular voice in confronting Burma's generals.

"The international community must publicly support the solutions proposed by Burma's democracy movement that focus on a transitional power-sharing formula," prospers ALTSEAN, "and encourage the Burmese junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), to be part of the solution."

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Bush's Asia agenda: Thai friendship, Burma

US President George W Bush heads to Asia where he is to deliver a major policy speech in Thailand and liaise with Burma dissidents.

President Bush is due to arrive Tuesday in Seoul, where he will meet with President Lee Myung Bak, who visited the US in March at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. The two men are marking the 55th anniversary of US-South Korean ties.

The US president plans to arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday for his second visit to the country, where he plans to meet with Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. The two leaders will also be marking an important anniversary in bilateral ties dating back 175 years.

The US president is to participate in the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing on Friday. During his four-day China stay from Thursday to Monday, Bush plans to meet President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and the Vice President Xi Jinping.

Against protests by political critics in the US, Bush has said he regards his attendance at the games as a purely a "sporting event."

Bush met last week, however, with Chinese dissidents, and the US House of Representatives passed a resolution urging the Chinese government to protect human rights and withdraw support from the governments of Burma and Sudan to protest human rights abuses in those two countries.

During his stay in the kingdom, Bush plans to highlight the role Thailand plays as a major non-NATO ally of the US and "one of our best relationships in East Asia," Dennis Wilder, a top official in the National Security Council, said last week.

"The president will congratulate the Thai people on the return to democracy in Thailand," Wilder said.

Bush's major address in Thailand will be on US policy in Asia and will look back on the Asia-related accomplishments of his eight years in office. He will also visit an HIV/AIDS center for children, the Mercy Center, White House officials said.

Burma's political situation will be on the agenda, with Bush planning to have lunch with Burmese activists and to offer broadcast interviews with the press in Thailand that are to be beamed into Burma.

First Lady Laura Bush plans to visit a refugee camp on the Thai- Burma border, the Mae La Refugee Camp.

The US first lady has been actively promoting human rights in Burma and protesting the abuses that followed protests by Buddhist monks and the Burma regime's initial blockade of aid workers who wanted to help survivors of the devastating cyclone Nargis in May.

In South Korea, Bush was expected to thank the government for reopening its markets to US bone-in beef for the first time in five years. Seoul had banned the imports after the US had several cases of mad cow disease.


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