Thursday, October 4th, 2007


Myanmar’s junta chief would be willing to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi if she meets major preconditions including ending her support for sanctions on the regime, state media said Thursday.
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A statement issued by the People’s Movement Leader Committee has called for nationwide prayer meetings to honour those who were killed in the recent protests.
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Five monasteries were raided in Rangoon and about 36 monks were arrested overnight on Wednesday, after receiving beatings from soldiers.
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Fifty people have been arrested in Sittwe and another 50 in Pakokku, as well as an unknown number of monks, as Burmese security forces continue to crack down on public dissent. (more…)

Myanmar’s military rulers on Thursday accused foreign governments of trying to destroy the country, while soldiers carried out more overnight raids to arrest people suspected of joining a pro-democracy uprising.
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Thousands of Christians began a fast throughout Burma on Wednesday to pray for the release of arrested pro-democracy protesters and for peace to prevail in Burma.
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It used to be easier: Close the borders, set up roadblocks, stop the trains, cut telephone lines, and then crack down on your people with impunity. This is what the military in the former Burma did when it crushed a pro-democracy uprising in 1988.
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Thousands of Internet bloggers from at least 45 nations joined a cyberspace protest against Myanmar’s military regime on Thursday by posting “Free Burma” banners on their pages, according to the drive’s Web site.
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While international attention has focused on the protests for democracy in Burma’s cities, a hidden war has decimated generations of the country’s powerless ethnic minorities, who have faced brutality for decades.
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Chevron Corp. of San Ramon is drawing harsh criticism for its business ties to Burma, the Asian nation conducting a brutal military crackdown.
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Beijing – He lies on the ground, one hand on his belly, the other flung out behind his head clutching a camera. A soldier in baggy khaki and flip flops points a gun at his prone body. Panicked civilians flee in the background, chased by more soldiers and baton-wielding police. These are the last moments of Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai’s life; slain covering Myanmar’s mass pro-democracy protests in Yangon last week. (See Myanmar’s blogs of bloodshed , Asia Times Online, September 29.)
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The body of a Japanese journalist killed during pro-democracy demonstrations in Yangon was brought back home early Thursday as Japan’s government considered reducing its foreign aid to Myanmar to protest his death.
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The Burmese military junta has been accused of destroying the Buddhist religion by over 300 monks from more than 10 nations on Thursday when they held peaceful protest rallies in Bodhgaya, in India’s Bihar state. They condemned the Burmese junta’s brutal crackdown on Buddhist monks.
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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that his special envoy delivered “the strongest possible message” to Myanmar’s military leaders about their bloody crackdown on democracy activists, but added that he couldn’t call the trip “a success.”
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China on Thursday praised a meeting between Burma’s leaders and a United Nations’ special envoy as a positive step toward restoring calm in the troubled region.
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The Buddhist monks who led Myanmar’s protests have drawn support from fellow believers worldwide, including Tibetan and Vietnamese spiritual leaders who are no strangers to state persecution.
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US senators on Wednesday demanded intense US pressure on China and India to force them to sever ties with Myanmar’s junta after a violent crackdown on protests by monks and democracy activists.
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Norwegian diplomats met Thursday with a Myanmar army major who said he defected to neighbouring Thailand because he did not want to shoot at civilians and monks, a Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
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Supporters of Burmese protestors from around the world are planning a global day of protests on 6 October to raise awareness of the situation in Burma and call for international action.
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The Australian government has refused the appointment of a Burmese general as ambassador to Australia because of the brutality of the military regime.
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