Monday, August 6th, 2007


In what is clearly a warning laced in an appeal, Burma’s MPs, elected in 1990, have sought the intervention of the United Nations chief to persuade the ruling military junta to modify its road map to democracy with an alternative seven point charter. Over 90 MPs submitted the letter of appeal, which included the seven point alternative clauses, on August 1.
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The pro-democracy 88 Generation Students group urged all Burmese people to reject a forthcoming constitution based on new guidelines being finalized by the country’s National Convention, according to a statement released by the group in advance of the 19th anniversary of the 1988 democracy uprising on August 8.
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Six Burmese labour activists, facing trial at a secret tribunal in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison, could face life terms in prison, their defence lawyer said.
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A total of 67 international organizations helped Myanmar implement 126 projects in the past four years between 2003 and 2006, local Weekly Eleven News reported Monday.
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The Wa army battlions based on the Thai-Burma border have been ordered to train for simulated battles and artillery firing by the UWSA (United Wa State Army) headquartered in Pansan, The battalions have also been storing food and weapons, said a border source.
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Even as the final session of the National Convention is underway in Rangoon, Burma’s ruling junta has kicked off a fresh recruitment drive for the military around Kachin State in northern Burma, said local sources.
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Relatives and close friends of Burma’s former Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt, kept under house arrest since his ouster in 2004, were recently allowed to visit him at his home in the former capital, according to Rangoon-based diplomats and former intelligence officers.
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Maungdaw, Arakan State: The head of the Department of Revenue and Income tax in Maungdaw collected money from villagers in Padaung track, 12 miles from Maungdaw as house tax, said a villager from Alaythankyaw.
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Text of report in English by Burmese newspaper The Myanmar Times on 6 August
[Report by Htin Kyaw from “Business” section: “Turkish investors offer lifeline to Myanmar garment industry”]. (more…)

Dengue fever has killed nearly 100 people in military-ruled Myanmar so far this year, amid a surge in cases of the mosquito-borne disease across Southeast Asia, officials said on Monday.
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Nearly 100 opposition leaders warned Saturday (Aug 4th) that they would urge Myanmar’s citizens to vote against a “sham” constitution being drafted unless they were allowed to take part in the process.
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Some 150 U.N.-certified Myanmar refugees have been detained during weekend raids on illegal immigrants in Malaysia, a rights group said Monday, as it called for a a halt to the indiscriminate arrest of refugees.
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Burma’s economy remains the military regime’s Achilles’ heal. Over the past nineteen years the majority of people have got poorer and poorer, as a select few with strong links to the generals, have successfully accumulated substantial wealth. But the deteriorating economic situation and the rising poverty have fuelled increased anger and even recently occasional public protests.
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We warmly welcome the initiative taken by the Members-Elect of Parliament in Burma asking the UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon to help bring about true and lasting national reconciliation and democratization in the country.
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Celebrated Burmese novelist Tayar Min Wai, who wrote under the names Shwe Phone Lu and Maung Yaw, died on Saturday at North Okkalapa Hospital in Rangoon. He was 41.
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